Brace yourself for more trouble than usual while travelling by suburban trains over the next two weekends as the Central Railway (CR) is planning mega blocks to switch from the existing 1,500 volt direct current (DC) to 25,000 volt alternate current (AC) between Kalyan and Thane.
According to sources, while there will be four-hour blocks during this weekend for inspection, the actual conversion will take place during a four-hour night block next weekend.
However, since the CR is already under fire for frequent disruption of services because of water-logging and technical failures, officials are reluctant to carry out blocks on consecutive weekends.
“This may lead to more problems for commuters,” said an official.
Being a more powerful and efficient traction system, adopting AC-traction will allow CR to run more trains, increase the speed of those and reduce energy bills, too. After conversion, CR officials also expect reduction in the travel time of suburban locals by a few minutes.
On the slow corridor, the conversion will be completed up to the Kalawa car shed, while on the fast corridor, it will be up to the south-end of the Thane station. AC-traction will also be adopted for the fifth and sixth corridors between Thane and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) stations.
A senior official told HT that inspection work has been proposed to begin on June 21, but four-hour blocks were proposed for June 22 and 23. While the actual process will be completed during four-hour blocks on the midnight of June 29-30, there will be three-hour blocks for post-conversion work.
“A detailed program has been sent to us by the Commissioner Railway Safety (CRS), we are awaiting a nod from the general manager,” the official said.
“The schedule for CRS inspection has been sent to the headquarters for an approval. A final decision on the block is is expected on Friday,” said Atul Rane, chief public relations officer of CR.