Central Railway (CR) is trying to meet the deadline retrofit all its trains from 1500 Volt direct current (DC) to 25,000 Volt alternate current (AC) to enable them to run the suburban trains faster.
It is fast-tracking the process of retrofitting the second lot of 20 DC rakes into DC-AC rakes. The old trains in its fleet run on DC while the new ones can run on both.
Therefore, CR decided to convert the old trains as well because it cannot start the AC system effectively unless its entire fleet runs on AC.
The retrofitting of old trains involves a complete modification of the driver cab, battery box, conversion of the high-tension compartment apart from replacing the electric traction system.
CR has started procuring various electric and mechanical systems for retrofitting the next lot of 20 DC rakes. “This procurement is expected to cost around Rs15 crore,” said a senior railway official on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Till date, CR has completed retrofitting seven of the 20 rakes and the eighth rake is expected to roll out in few days. While retrofitting the rest of the rakes is expected to be completed in the next few months.
CR has set a December 2012 deadline for completing conversion on the Main (CST-Kalyan) and Harbour line.