With the introduction of new suburban trains under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-2, the railway authorities can ply the trains faster than the current maximum speed of 110 km per hour (kmph).
Indian Railway’s research wing, Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), issued a speed certificate of 110 kmph to the new trains last week, said a senior official of Mumbai Railway Vikas corporation, the railway infrastructure planning and development body for suburban railway.
“It means the railway can run the MUTP-2 trains at a revised maximum speed on the existing fast track beyond Borivli station,” said the official, requesting anonymity. He added that now WR will have to seek permission from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) of Western Circle. The frequency of trains is less after Borivli.
The current suburban trains can be plied at a top speed of 80 to 100 kmph depending on the type of trains.
According to Western Railway sources, if the CRS gives the nod for increasing the speed of MUTP-2 trains, the travelling time to and from far-off stations like Virar, Palghar and Dahanu could be reduced by few minutes.
When asked, WR spokesperson confirmed that they have received a letter from RDSO about speed of the trains and they would now conduct speed trials at 110kmph. “We are going to approach CRS for the permission,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer of WR.
The Mumbai suburban section of railway is getting a total of 72 new trains under the Rs5,300 crore MUTP-2 project. The trains are being manufactured at Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF). Till now, 23 new trains including two prototypes have reached the city and rest are expected to arrive before the end of next year.
First, MUTP-2 trains reached the city in October 2013, but owing to delayed trials and permissions they were inducted in service from March 18, 2015.
Those trains were originally allowed to run at the speed of 70-80 kmph and later it increased to 100-105 kmph. MUTP-I and other suburban trains have a maximum speed limit of 80 kmph and 100 kmph.
The stainless steel MUTP-2 trains have impressed Mumbaiites with its improved interior and exterior, spacious seating arrangement, better colour schemes and other features. Even the motormen have approved of their new trains owing to their faster acceleration and de-acceleration, with better control.