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Longer wait for faster trains

If you thought that your commute on Western Railway could be faster from July, you are wrong.

mumbai Updated: Jul 01, 2011 01:25 IST
Shashank Rao

If you thought that your commute on Western Railway could be faster from July, you are wrong.

The WR has failed to meet its June 30 deadline for power conversion from 1,500-volt Direct Current (DC) to 25,000-volt Alternating Current (AC).

In April, Kul Bhushan, the general manager of Central Railway (CR) who also has additional charge of Western Railway (WR), had said that the work would be completed by June 30. But it has been delayed because of less number of trains on the stretch.

After the power conversion, the Central Railway requires at least 14 trains, which can run on both DC-AC lines, to run on the CST-Andheri stretch to maintain the number of services.

The CR has eight trains, including those from Pune and the rest are being retrofitted. The stretch between Andheri and Mahim on the Harbour line is under the WR but the CR operates train services. Unless the CR provides 14 trains that run on both DC and AC lines on this stretch, the WR cannot convert their system completely to 25,000-volt AC.

The Harbour line runs on DC power. The CR has retrofitted four of their old DC trains to DC/AC. “We’re getting four trains from Pune,” said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO, Central Railway.

Sources said they are trying hard to get the rest of the six trains after retrofitting it by July-end but it might extend to August. On an average, three trains are retrofitted in a month at the Kurla car shed and Matunga workshop.

The WR claims that it has enough DC/AC trains to run but the CR has to provide trains for this section on the Harbour line.

“We cannot charge our main lines (slow and fast corridors) with 25,000-volt AC because of crossovers,” said a WR official.

“Moreover, power conversion has to be done from one end to the other and this cannot until Harbour line is ready for the change.”

After the 34-km stretch on Borivli-Churchgate gets charged to AC lines, commuters going till Virar would benefit. “We have completed work on the overhead cables and substations to charge it to AC line,” said S Chandrayan, chief PRO, Western Railway.