By the end of this year, your commute on Western Railway trains will become faster and smoother.
The WR has projected completion of Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC) on the entire stretch between Churchgate and Virar by November.
This would mean that all old DC trains would either be modified or fitted with equipment that runs the new purple-coloured Siemens trains, thereby helping it to improve punctuality and add new services.
“We would be adding 34 new AC-DC rakes (trains) and more than 300 rakes would be retrofitted and converted to 12-coach by November,” said R.N. Verma, General Manager, WR.
After the conversion, the maximum speed of local trains would increase from 80 kmph to 100 kmph. The second 15-coach train may also start running by this year-end.
“We would be completing extending platforms at selected stations and are sure to introduce another 15-coach by this year,” added Verma.
Platforms will be extended at Bandra, Mira Road, Bhayandar and Nallasopara. Though the Railway Budget did not allocate any new services for WR, 112 new services will be started by November.
These will help reduce the crowd in each coach to 350 from the present 450.
“We would be converting from DC to AC on the Harbour line between Mahim and Andheri. This would mean that the CR will have to procure 14 rakes for running on this line,” added Verma.
The CR is already procuring new DC-AC trains from the Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) at Chennai, which would allow them to run on the improved line.
“Such works on Harbour line would be carried out with our consultation. Moreover, getting new DC-AC rakes wouldn’t be a problem as the Rail Board decides the distribution of rakes as per requirement. We are currently getting five rakes every month up to June,” said CR chief PRO, S. Mudgerikar.
On Sunday, the WR took the first step of overall conversion of traction lines from 1,500-volt DC to 25,000-volt AC between Borivli and Virar under phase-I.