Mumbai’s first AC local to start plying on Churchgate-Borivali route from September
The long wait for Mumbai’s first air-conditioned local is finally coming to an end, with Railways announcing that the train will start running on Western Railway’s Churchgate-Borivali route from September.
The AC local, which arrived in the city last April, will complete around 15 services per day after launch.
In a press conference with Railway Board officials on Monday, Ravindra Gupta, Member (Rolling Stock), Railway Board, said, “While trials on the rake are on, the first one will be rolled out in September 2017.”
Railways also plans to order nine more such trains from BHEL, some of which will also be deployed on Central Railway.
“We will ensure these trains operate on both WR and Central Railway (CR) and all passengers benefit from them,” A.K. Mittal, Chairman, Railway Board, said.
The AC local arrived in Mumbai from the Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai on April 4, 2016. Although it was supposed to ply on CR initially, the train ran into problems during the trial runs due to height-related infrastructural issues.
Railways subsequently allotted Rs 55 crore to WR for conducting trials on the Churchgate-Borivali route, where two road over bridges (at Mahalaxmi and Matunga Road station) might need to be adjusted before the train can successfully run.
Meanwhile, officials have remained tight lipped about the AC local fares. “We have not finalised the fares yet. This train is a special product so the fare structure will be different,” said Mohammad Jamshed, Member (Traffic), Railway Board.
Experts, however, claim the fares will be on the lines of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
All 47 rakes ordered under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) – III will be air-conditioned with automatic close-door technology.
WR is therefore mulling over introducing a queue system to ensure commuters don’t block doors during peak hours.
The AC rakes have a carrying capacity of 1,000 passengers and around 5,000 standees. They will be manufactured locally under the ‘Make In India’ initiative.