Overhead wires on the Harbour and Trans-Harbour corridors are 17 times more powerful as Central Railway (CR) completed its conversion from Direct Current (DC) to Alternate Current (AC) traction on Sunday morning.
After adopting the powerful 25,000-volt AC traction instead of the 1,500 volt DC traction, CR plans run new suburban services on both the corridors.
At 4.42am, CR charged overhead wires on the Harbour and Trans-Harbour corridors with AC traction during a five-hour-long long mega block. CR claimed the DC to AC conversion work was completed well in time.
AK Singh, public relations office of CR, said after conversion, the first local ran between Panvel-Vashi stations on Harbour line and between Thane-Nerul stations on Trans-Harbour line at 4.46am and 5.11 am, respectively.
The conversion project took almost 14 years.
Before the start of mega block, CR gave a grand farewell to the last DC local between Kurla and CST stations. Several railway officials and citizens travelled on the train, which wore a festive look.
The journey began with loud cheers and a band performance from Kurla station around 11.30pm.
The CR, however, found no takers for the Rs10,000 ticket for the last journey. It was to donate the amount collected to the drought relief fund.
SK Sood, general manager of CR, said they are planning to introduce 10 suburban services on the Harbour line next week and 40 more services thereafter.
“We will get one rake on Monday, after which we will add 10 services split between Harbour and Trans-Harbour. Once the system stabilizes, we will add 40 new services altogether,” said Sood.
More than 10 lakh commuters travel on the Harbour line. They are expected to get some relief. The conversion will not just allow CR to increase its services, it is also expected to save power worth Rs10 crore annually.
CR said it will try to complete the safety trials of the first air-conditioned suburban train as early as possible, said Sood