Mumbaikars will no more have to sweat it out while travelling by train from home to work and back, they can now hope to enjoy the comforts of air-conditioned coaches.
"We have finalised the plan to introduce AC suburban trains in certain routes as there has been a demand for it for long," AK Jhingron, the general manager, Western Railway, told PTI.
The modalities are being worked out and the fare structures and the routes would be announced soon, he said.
There was a feasibility study of the project and certain routes have been identified for possible run of AC suburban trains.
"At first, only a couple of AC trains with nine coaches would run in certain identified routes as a pilot project. Depending upon the response, the AC service would be extended to other routes as well," Jhingran said.
Considered as lifeline of Mumbai, some 3000 suburban trains carry about 60 lakh passengers daily.
Earlier, there was a plan to include an AC coach in some suburban trains, but it did not materialise due to technical problems, said the GM. "Now we have decided to go for the full-fledged AC train with all coaches having AC facilities."
However, there are a few issues to be resolved before launching the proposed AC trains.
"The major issue is the fare structure," said a senior official involved with the project.
"Currently, the first class suburban fare is ranging from Rs 35 to Rs 120 and the fare has not been hiked for many years," he said.