Air-conditioned local trains will run on the Western Railway (WR) in the next financial year (March 2013-2014), the railway board announced on Friday.
“We will introduce limited air-conditioned (AC) services on the WR in 2013-14. Depending on how it works out, we will make further plans,” said Vinay Mittal, chairman, railway board, who is in the city for a review meeting of the Central Railway (CR) and WR.
Though the carrying capacity of AC trains will be low, it will be infused into the suburban timetable, thus affecting the schedule. Also, the fares will be higher than the local trains.
According to officials, the railway board has asked the integral coach factory to manufacture the AC trains. As the DC to AC conversion on WR has been complete, power supply for AC locals will not be a problem.
Mittal said that the coupon vending machines (CVMs) may not be scrapped. “We are examining the possibility of connecting the CVMs with the unreserved ticketing system (UTS). If we succeed, CVMs will not be phased out,” said Mittal.
About the Churchgate-Virar elevated corridor project, Mittal said: “It is being monitored by the PM. An agreement between the railways and the state is likely to be signed this week. There would be a significant development in this project by the year-end which is expected to cost around Rs15,000 crore.”
“If the public-private partnership model for the Churchgate-Virar corridor proves to be successful, we might introduce it for other major projects such as the CSTM-Kalyan corridor,” he said.
The WR also plans to introduce some services between Virar and Dahanu between December and March.
The railways have also requested UNESCO to reduce the periphery around CST’s heritage building.
The integrated security system will be installed at 202 stations in the country. Eight stations on the CR and 29 WR stations will be covered under it.