In a move toward meeting the consistent demand for additional services, the Western railway (WR) will add more suburban services by procuring 11 new trains.
This also comes as good news for commuters from far-off western suburbs as some of the new services would be extended till Dahanu.
At present, the WR is running 1250 suburban services for which it needs 77 electrical multiple unit (EMU) rakes (local trains of nine or 12 coaches). Although it has sufficient number of rakes to ply the scheduled services, it doesn't have enough rakes to add the 35 new suburban services announced in the 2012-13 railway budget. Also, the WR's plans to convert all nine-car rakes to 12-car ones to increase passenger carrying capacity has also been delayed due to shortage of rakes.
More than 35 lakh passengers travel on the WR on a daily basis. During peak hours, more than 5,300 passengers travel in a 12-car rake which is often referred to as 'super-dense crush load'.
The WR has placed the order for the new suburban rakes, including an air-conditioned one, to a Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory. Except the air-conditioned rake, all the other EMU rakes are expected to reach the city before March 2013.
According to sources, the WR will need at least two rakes for the conversion of all nine-car rakes into 12-car ones. It has earmarked four to five rakes for the introduction of suburban services as announced in the railway budget and three to four rakes for suburban services till Dahanu Road.
Confirming that the WR has placed an order with ICF for procurement of 11 new EMU rakes including an air conditioned rake, Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer of WR, said that it is going ahead with retro-fitment of 10 old rakes, of which three are already on tracks.