The first air-conditioned local train has been flagged off from Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) of the Indian Railways on Friday.
The train will reach Mumbai late Monday evening, said officials. The train was supposed to reach Mumbai a few days ago, but sources said the delay was owing to last-minute fixing of software-related works.
The swanky train, however, is unlikely to get inducted in service immediately, as it will have to go through various safety trials, which may take at least three to four months, said railway sources.
Ashok Agarwal, the general manager of ICF, had said the train will start for Mumbai on Friday night. “Whatever software-related works are left will now be done in Mumbai when it reaches the island city,” said Agarwal, when asked about the pending works.
According to sources, the software-upgrade work and the related trials of the train are still incomplete and it will require at least 10-15 days to finish them.
However, under pressure from the ministry of railways, the ICF sent it without completing the works since it wants to flag off its trials on April 16, the day on which the first train was operated in India.
The software upgrade is necessary for the smooth working of automatic doors and other systems of the train, according to the railways for which a team from the ICF and technicians from Bharat Heavy Electric Limited (BHEL) will reach Mumbai within a couple of days.
They will complete the remaining work at the railway car-shed here. ICF officials said they had handed over 120 coaches, including 12 coaches of AC locals, to the Southern Railway to dispatch them to various railways.
The swanky blue-silver air-conditioned local is expected to make suburban commute smoother and comfortable.
Earlier, there was a plan to operate it on the Western line, but recently railway minister Suresh Prabhu diverted it to the Central Railway (CR).
The CR has planned to operate it first on the Harbour line, but will conduct trials on the Trans-Harbour corridor.