The Central Railway (CR) undertook massive retrofitting exercise under which it revamped its old red-cream coloured 9-car trains, both in look and function. The electronic circuits of such trains are altered to enable them to run on both — 1,500-Volt Direct Current (DC) and 25,000-Volt Alternating Current (AC). Though trial runs were being conducted since last few weeks; first retrofitted train operated on the central line on Friday.
These retrofitted trains would help CR tackle paucity of trains on its overcrowded line and beat passenger rush. The CR plans to retrofit 20 old trains that currently run on DC lines, at a cost of Rs20 crore. “We can run these trains on the Central and Harbour line,” said a senior CR official. This would allow CR to increase services on the Harbour line, which is completely a 1,500-Volt DC section. There are 25 trains on the Harbour line, 12 nine-car trains and 17 twelve-car trains on the Central line that currently run on DC. Of these trains, the CR plans to convert 20 trains from DC to AC by December 2012. “Remaining trains will gradually be retrofitted or discarded, depending on its performance,” said a CR official. “The budget for retrofitting trains is Rs1 crore for each train and we cannot exceed that amount,” said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO, Central Railway. A conventional DC train was manufactured at cost of around Rs10 crore, which is half of cost of a violet-white train.