Start AC local train in Mumbai on Christmas Day: Railway minister to officials
The long awaited first air-conditioned suburban train in Mumbai is likely to start running from December 25. Union railway minister Piyush Goyal on Monday directed Western Railway (WR) officials to commence the AC train on December 25. If there is no issue or any problem with the train, then the train service would be a gift for commuters on Christmas and Good Governance Day, he told officials.
Goyal made the statement while taking a ride on a suburban train from Currey Road to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. He also inspected the construction of foot overbridges at Elphinstone Road and Currey Road stations.
On the train ride, Goyal asked AK Gupta, General Manager of Western Railway, to give him updates on the AC local train, which will run on the Churchgate-Virar route. Gupta replied the train would be back from its Periodic Over Haul (POH) on December 10, to which Goyal said services could begin from December 25.
“Starting the train service before the deadline will be good because commuters will be able to take the first ride on Christmas and Good Governance Day. It will be a gift from us. We can start services on December 25,”said Goyal.
WR officials were expecting the minister to make a formal announcement at a media briefing in the evening, which was cancelled as Goyal fell ill.
A WR official refused to comment saying it would be the prerogative of the minister, but stated the AC local will be back from the POH in the second week and the train can be started any day after December 10.
Further, the WR division has prepared a proposed fare for the AC local train. In order to keep ticket prices for the AC train within the common man’s reach, WR officials have proposed an affordable fare structure in which they intend to charge commuters Rs10 for the first five kilometres of their journey. The maximum fare for the 60-km stretch between Churchgate and Virar has been capped at Rs85.
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