Central Railway to get 13 new local trains for Mumbai, for the first time in five years

Thirteen trains set to be procured under the project aimed at increasing capacity, trains likely to be on tracks by end of March

mumbai Updated: Nov 07, 2017 10:16 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
Central Railway,Mumbai News,Mumbai Locals
Sources in CR said the new trains are likely to replace old locals on the harbour line, instead of them being introduced as new suburban services.(HT FILE)

Central Railway commuters will finally get to travel on brand new trains as 13 new suburban trains will be inducted in CR’s fleet soon. Of those, the first local reached Mumbai from Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory of Indian Railways on Monday. Moreover, it’s most likely that all the 13 trains will run on Harbour line.

Railway authorities had given all 72 new MUTP-II local trains (procured under second phase of Mumbai Urban Transport Project) to Western Railway (WR) in the past five years. While the Central Railway had relatively new suburban trains, the commuters on the Harbour line are being forced to travel in old suffocating duel current (DC-AC) locals that have poor illumination and ventilation.

Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation spokesperson said the new locals are procured under nine-coach to 12-coach extension project on Harbour line. “Mumbai is expected to get all 13 locals by March-end,” said MRVC spokesperson.

According to MRVC officials, the new trains are popularly known as Medha locals owing to the electric control system they have, which was developed by Hyderabad-based Medha Savro Drives. Each local, which costs around Rs43 crore, is capable of running at the highest speed of 110 kmph.

Medha locals have similar appearance as the MUTP-II or Bombardier locals. Apart from electric system that includes traction motors and train control system, everything else is similar in these rakes. Medha locals are as advance as other MUTP I and MUTP II locals. The train has the advanced three-phase IGBT transmission technology.

The 13 new locals were procured under Rs714.10-crore project undertaken by railway authorities and the state government to run 12-car locals on Harbour line as a part of MUTP-II and increase carrying capacity of trains by 33 percent. The project cost also includes buying of new suburban locals.

Sources in CR said the new trains are likely to replace old locals on Harbour line, instead of them being introduced as new suburban services. Once they receive few more trains, they might consider inducting those on main line or trans-harbour line too. Central Railway runs the main line (CST to Karjat, Kasara and Khopoli) , Harbour line (CST to Panvel) and trans-harbour line (Thane to Navi Mumbai).

Presently, there are around 51 old suburban locals, including 41 on CR and 10 on WR running in Mumbai. Issues in the trains’ speed, breaking power and acceleration capabilities affect suburban trains’ schedule often. The railway sources hope to improve that with the introduction of new trains.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 10:16 IST