Even though the Railways has been successfully testing the hi-speed suburban trains for one and half months now - which most recently touched 120kmph - the project has run into some more trouble. For the last few days, there has been unrest among motormen, as they feel that they are psychologically unfit to drive at such speeds.
At a meeting of motormen from the Western Railway (WR), they insisted that the administration give them special training, without which there could be safety concerns. Usually, special health checkups, reaction and eye tests and psychological tests on computers and simulators are made compulsory for drivers of high-speed trains like the Rajdhani or Shatabdi.
"Presently, the motormen have been trained to run the local trains at 80kmph, and we also run at 100kmph when possible. Any speed higher than that requires special training," said a motorman from the Western Railway Motorman Association (WRMA), requesting anonymity.
The motormen say that only experienced drivers, who have been driving trains for more than 18 years, are made to run such high-speed trains. "The working of local trains is different from an engine. So, these trains are being tested without prior training to motormen," said another motorman, requesting anonymity.
However, sources in the railways said that the current trials were only meant to test the working of this train. "We would be obviously give special training to motormen when it is put on service," said a senior WR official on condition of anonymity.
"The trial will continue for a few more days," said Prakashrao Vazalwar, spokesperson of Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation, which is assisting WR with the trial runs.