The need to bring in more new trains in the Central Railway (CR) was reinforced on Monday, when heavy rain brought train services to a standstill.
Services on the CR were affected for nearly four hours and during this period, only new trains were able to plough through waterlogged tracks. Railway authorities claim that the new trains are better equipped to run in such situations.
Sources from the CR said that these new trains are more efficient and incur less damage from flooded tracks. “The springs and suspension of these trains are much better than the older trains,” said a CR official, on condition of anonymity. Additionally, railway experts say that even if the passenger load is heavy, the new trains are not affected. The height of the train remains intact, which prevents it from getting affected by waterlogged tracks.
The CR, for long, has been demanding more new trains. Of their fleet of 117, they have 44 such Siemens-make trains. Most others are old, prone to unit failures and similar problems.
These 44 trains were procured during the first phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) and are being run on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus- Karjat/Kasara stretches. The Western Railway, on the other hand, has 76 such trains, which run on the Churchgate-Virar stretch.
The CR is still running old trains on the Harbour line stretch, which extends to Panvel. Additionally, the CR has begun to make changes in their older trains that can still be run for more than 12 years. They have begun retrofitting these trains with Alternating Current-Direct Current (AC-DC) electrics and are making changes in their body. “We have 21 AC-DC trains, which were also used on Monday, when the tracks were flooded.”