Amid rumblings from commuter associations, the Western Railway on Tuesday conducted a test run of a train with LCD TV screens during evening peak hours.
For the railways, the move to install in local trains is another way to generate revenue. The commuters feel that the money could be utilised for more services.
The Western Railway will install LCD screens in five trains — three 12-car ones will have 72 screens.
Each coach will have six screens which means a nine-car train will have 54 TV screens and a 12-car train 72.
The railways plan to run public awareness messages, security alerts and advertisements on the TV. This is the first time that TV screens would be installed in local trains in the city.
Commuter associations have termed the move a “cosmetic” project.
“Why can’t the railways first focus on key projects such as running suburban trains?” asked Dipak Gandhi of Mumbai Suburban Passengers’ Association. “It is a waste of public money.”
Shailendra Kamble of Pravasi Adhikaar Andolan Samiti said: “Newly-manufactured suburban trains are waiting to be inducted in service on Western Railway because of lack of infrastructure to run them. Why can’t the railways bring in more services first and then think of all such fancy projects?”
The associations said the railways needed to improve services first.
“Is there any space in the local train? They should improve service standards first,” said Shailendra Garg, president of Passenger Traffic Relief Association and five-time member of Zonal Railway Users’ committee.
Railway officials said it was only a trial run of the train with TV sets.
The idea of introducing TV screens in trains was mooted by Western Railway in March 2007 on the lines of the Shatabdi Express.
Recently, a contract was awarded for installing LCD TVs in Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani. Soon, the Rajdhani express will be have 150 LCD TVs.