Here’s some cool news for Mumbaikars ahead of the humid summer season. In his budget speech, railway minister Suresh Prabhu assured to bring in the much-delayed air-conditioned train on tracks before March end.
In the budget document, Prabhu said that the first AC train will be introduced in Mumbai before March 31, 2016.
GC Agarwal, general manager of Western Railway, said, “The ICF (Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory of the Indian Railways) has informed that trains will reach Mumbai by March 31 but the services will start only after undertaking the trial runs.”
Railway officials, however, said that the services will not commence on the arrival of the trains and will be done only after suitable trials are carried out which may take another two months.
The rakes are being assembled at the ICF. These trains were expected by December 2015 but have been delayed for three months.
The train is expected to cater first class commuters and reduce congestion on roads by providing option to car users in Churchgate to Borivli stretch. Initially, WR plans to run 20 services per day on the fast corridor.
Meanwhile, Western Railway authorities were tightlipped about the fare of these AC locals as the proposal has been sent to railway board for their approval. Agarwal, said “As the proposal is with the railway board, I cannot comment on the proposed fare for AC trains.”
The WR had first announced introduction of AC locals in 2002 but it has not hit the city tracks for more than a decade now. Every year, it does find some mention in the railway budget.