More than 17 months after they arrived in Mumbai, one of the two new rakes acquired under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) 2 finally started services on Wednesday morning. Citizens welcomed the new train with cheers.
Each worth around Rs 43 crore, the two new rakes will give commuters a taste of their commuting experience in the near future, with 70 more such trains set to arrive over the next two years.
The train started its maiden journey from Churchgate at 11.35am and headed towards Borivli, in the presence of watchful officials.
Most passengers approved of the increased leg room between seats, the blue grab handles that two people can use at a time, and forced ventilation systems as in the Metro trains. “It has a very good ventilation system and has wide space between seats,” said Sunil Bhosale, a Sewri resident.
“The train has faster acceleration and de-acceleration and better riding comfort,” said Apoorva Karlekar, a Dadar resident who made it a point to board the train on its first journey. The seats in the first class compartments invited criticism. “First class seats are not at all comfortable, and the back rest doesn’t help,” said Pradip Wagh, a businessman travelling to Borivli.
The hexagonal poles at the doors got mixed reviews from passengers. While some said they were easy to hold on to, others said they could cause passengers to slip while boarding and alighting the train.
Passengers also pointed out the large gap between the platforms and the new trains. WR operated 11 services through the day, including two fast, some during peak hours.
The second train will start services soon. “At least 10-12 services will be run with each rake,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR. Prabhat Sahai, chairman of MRVC, said passenger feedback will be sought before necessary changes are made in the trains that arrive next.