Mumbai to get 78 semi air-conditioned local trains on Western, Central lines
By 2021, the city may be travelling in 78 partially air-conditioned local trains.
The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, the railway agency that manufactures and procures trains, has issued tenders to procure 39 new 12-coach AC trains for the city. Six coaches of each of these trains will be replaced with non-AC coaches to get 78 partially AC trains. These trains will be distributed equally between the western and central railway line.
The railway board took the decision to make partially air-conditioned trains to make the travel affordable. However, the ICF will have to check if partially AC trains can run on the CR and WR.
“The ICF has called for tenders. The procurement will begin by next year. Replacing the coaches [AC with non-AC ones] will take three years,” said a senior central railway official, requesting anonymity.
In the immediate future, the city will, however, get three additional AC trains for the WR. The railway ministry took the decision based on the positive response the only AC train being run on the WR got. One of these three trains will arrive in September, while the rest will be procured by December 2019.
“The three AC trains should be procured soon,” said Ravindra Gupta, member, rolling stock, railway board.
The WR is also mulling halting the existing AC train at Grant Road, Charni Road and Marine Lines railway station, in addition to its regular stops.
Union railway minister Piyush Goyal had earlier announced that 70 local trains will be fitted with AC coaches.
The ridership of the first AC local train has crossed 10 lakh within five months of service. In February, 2.28 lakh passengers travelled on the train, the number increased to 3.13 lakh in March and 3.54 lakh in April.