Mumbai’s suburban train network to get 10 more AC trains by March 2020
Railways will begin trial runs for semi-high speed mainline electric multiple unit (MEMU) trains from next weekUpdated: Jun 06, 2019 00:48 IST
The city will get 10 more air-conditioned (AC) locals by March 2020 and the first underslung AC local – in which the electric equipment are placed near the wheel – will undergo trials during the monsoon.
Railway board member (rolling stock) Rajesh Agarwal, on Wednesday, said 10 AC locals would be added to the suburban trail services.
Agarwal addressed the media after holding a series of meetings with Central Railway (CR), Western Railway (WR) and Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC).
Presently, WR has three AC locals, including one underslung AC train. Agarwal said of the new AC locals, six would be in WR and the remaining six would be in Central Railway (CR). He also said that the city was scheduled to get eight more underslung AC locals.
“There are concerns raised by the Western and Central Railway about the AC locals with underslung equipment. We will conduct trials this monsoon in Mumbai and inspect the issues,” said Agarwal.
Depending on the success of the prototype, further production will be undertaken.
According to railway officials, the electric equipment in underslung AC locals is placed at a lower height – 400mm as opposed to the standard 750mm – which makes the train more likely to be affected by water on the track.
Additionally, the train has an axle load of 84 tonnes instead of 80-81 tonnes, which officials said increases chances of derailments in case of overcrowding.
Agarwal also said the Railways would begin trial runs for semi-high speed mainline electric multiple unit (MEMU) trains from next week, which would reduce the travel time for Mumbai to Vadodara to four hours; and Mumbai to Pune, to two hours.
“We want to check whether the same train can be replicated for Mumbai to Pune or Mumbai to Nashik or Mumbai to Vadodara,” he said.
Following the success of Train 18, which reduced the travel time between Mumbai and Varanasi by 40%, the Railways are planning to develop Train 19, which will have sleeping bunks (the two Train 18 have only sitting arrangements). The Railways has also decided to stop production of the luxury train Tejas Express has been discontinued.
Agarwal said the annual production of coaches was between 5,000 and 6,000 coaches, compared to 3,000-4,000 last year.