Rail ministry gives in-principle nod to 238 AC rakes for Mumbai | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Rail ministry gives in-principle nod to 238 AC rakes for Mumbai

May 17, 2023 01:04 AM IST

Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw gave his go ahead to the procurement of AC rakes at a high-level meeting with rail officers from Mumbai on May 15. The process of setting up new car sheds at Bhivpuri (Karjat) and Vangaon (Dahanu) for maintenance of these AC local trains will begin simultaneously.

Mumbai: In a significant decision that could boost and improve Mumbai’s public transit, the railway ministry has given an in-principle nod to 238 air-conditioned (AC) rakes at an approximate cost of 20,000 crore. The AC rakes will be procured under Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), which will gradually replace the existing non-AC rakes.

There are about 15 air conditioned trains operating on both the Western Railway and Central Railway lines of Mumbai. (HT PHOTO)
There are about 15 air conditioned trains operating on both the Western Railway and Central Railway lines of Mumbai. (HT PHOTO)

Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw gave his go ahead to the procurement of AC rakes at a high-level meeting with rail officers from Mumbai on May 15. The process of setting up new car sheds at Bhivpuri (Karjat) and Vangaon (Dahanu) for maintenance of these AC local trains will begin simultaneously.

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Sources, who were a part of this meeting, said Vaishnaw enquired about the status of MUTP-3 and 3A that has been cleared for Mumbai and its metropolitan region.

Apart from the various rail projects that will be added to the existing suburban network, one of the most vital components of both MUTP-3 and 3A is bringing 47 and 191 AC trains respectively under both phases of MUTP. Railway officials pointed out the pending clearance from the minister’s office and the railway board over procurement of these AC trains.

Sources said the approval letter will be sent by the Railway Board soon as Vaishnaw has asked the process to be expedited. “We are looking at calling global tenders for designing, manufacturing and maintaining of these AC rakes in June. This was an important decision as these AC locals will ideally replace the current fleet of trains running in Mumbai over the years to come,” said a senior official from the Railway Board.

Despite MUTP-3 and MUTP-3A getting the green signal, it was important that the railway ministry in Delhi gives a go ahead to the authorities here to call tenders for the new AC rakes. As per the plans of procurement, 47 AC rakes at the cost 3,491 crore will come under MUTP-3 and under phase 3A of MUTP, there will be 191 AC rakes that will get inducted at a cost of 15,802 crore.

These 12-car AC local trains will feature a vestibuled layout with underslung electrical equipment. This will augment the carrying capacity as the current set of AC trains have equipment and machines at the end of the sixth coach. It will also be equipped with a fire detection system and automatic smoke alarms.

It is likely that the motorman/guard will have entry and exit provisions from the passenger area to improve accessibility. It is also likely that the aesthetics of these AC trains, including the decor, interior and exterior appearance, colour scheme etc. could also be different. Features such as inbuilt infotainment and CCTV systems, as well as improved acceleration will continue.

Recently, the Maharashtra government released 100 crore for MUTP-3A project out of the pending 1,512 crore. In 2022-23, MUTP works received 1,851 crore that includes 1,073 from the Ministry of Railways and 778 crore from the Maharashtra government.

The MRVC is a 50:50 joint venture between the Indian Railways and the Maharashtra government that plans and implements rail projects specifically for Mumbai. It will receive funds for the MUTP-3 and 3A projects with a cumulative total of over 44,600 crore.

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