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Central Railway backtracks on local train plan for Mumbai to Nashik travel

The feasibility test showed the local trains, which are wider than long-distance ones, are not suitable for travel for long hours, and may also not be able to pass through the tunnels

cities Updated: May 15, 2019 23:31 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
Central Railway,Mumbai,Nashik
MEMU trains are operate on Panvel-Dahanu Road, Virar-Dahanu Road, Dadar-Dahanu Road and Vasai Road-Roha sections.(HT Photo)

Central Railway (CR) appears to have shelved the plan to run suburban train services on the Mumbai-Nashik and Mumbai-Pune routes, after a feasibility test highlighted the technical problems. Instead, they now plan to operate advanced mainline electric multiple unit (MEMU) trains on the two inter-city routes.

The feasibility test showed the local trains, which are wider than long-distance ones, are not suitable for travel for long hours, and may also not be able to pass through the tunnels. Also, the absence of toilets will make it difficult for passengers taking the route.

MEMU trains are leaner and operate on medium-distance routes, and have toilets on board. The trains have steps, similar to outstation trains. MEMU trains currently operate on the Panvel-Dahanu Road, Virar-Dahanu Road, Dadar-Dahanu Road and Vasai Road to Roha sections.

The advanced MEMU trains that will be run on the routes have eight coaches, with a capacity of 2,400 passengers. Their features include cushioned seats, automatic doors, CCTV cameras and global positioning system (GPS) in each coach.

“Running advanced MEMU trains is feasible on Mumbai-Nashik and Mumbai-Pune routes,” said a senior central railway involved in the operation of the trains.

CR will receive 12 trains of eight coaches by the end of the year. A MEMU car shed, which was proposed in the 2019-20 budget, will be constructed at Bhusawal railway station.

Further, the zonal railway plans to introduce MEMU trains in Pune division and replace passenger trains with MEMU trains on the Nashik-Bhuwasal route.

HT had in March reported CR was not sure of the operation of local trains along the stretch, owing to technical issues.

First Published: May 15, 2019 23:31 IST