CR, not WR, to get next AC local
The highly-anticipated second AC local for Mumbai, which is set to arrive later this month, will go to Central Railway and not Western Railway.
The train, which takes several design cues from Train 18, was unveiled last week. Like the first suburban AC local, it has been made at Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.
However unlike the one, which was introduced in December 2017 and operates between Churchgate and Virar on WR, the second will come to CR. The priority was given to WR earlier, which the Railway Board has now overturned.
In total, CR is set to receive six of the total 12 AC locals planned for the city’s overburdened network.
“Of the 12 air-conditioned trains made by BHEL Electronics will now come to Central Railway. As per details, the first train went to WR, but the next two trains will now come to CR. The fourth, fifth and sixth trains will go to WR, the next two will be given to CR, the ninth and tenth to WR, and again the eleventh and twelfth will go to CR,” a top official told Mid-Day.
Since the new AC local was designed after incorporating commuter feedback, it is different from the existing one in several key aspects.
Some of the new features and design improvements, including several firsts for suburban locals, are:
* An underslung motor equipment, allowing the train operate at low speeds even during flooding.
* Seating capacity of 1,116, which is around 8 percent more than that of the existing AC local.
* Flexi solar panels on the roof that are capable of generating 3.6 kw electricity and powering the lights & fans of the coach.
* A talk-back system that allows commuters to contact the train guard in case of emergencies.
* Wider gangways that allow more people to stand and walk comfortably.
* Rubberised anti-skid flooring and improved luggage racks.
The AC local has left Chennai and is reportedly set to arrive in Mumbai on January 15. After the train arrives, Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) will start conducting trial runs.
Once the runs are successful, the Commissioner of Railway Safety will sign on it and the train will be thrown open to the public. The entire process can take a few months.