Com­mute for 35 lakh pas­sen­gers to get faster, more com­fort­able

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Pra­jakta Ku­nal Rane

MUM­BAI: The much awaited air­con­di­tioned sub­ur­ban train will be op­er­a­tional by De­cem­ber and trial runs will be­gin next month, said Cen­tral Rail­way (CR) gen­eral man­ager Akhil Agrawal at the Mum­bai Press Club on Thurs­day. The CR also aims to re­duce travel time by in­creas­ing the speed of long-dis­tance trains from 90kmph to 105kmph between Lok­manya Ti­lak Ter­mi­nus and Thane by March.

It will strengthen tracks and re­lax speed norms at curves and crossovers to do so. In­creas­ing the speed of long-dis­tance trains at sta­tions un­der the Mum­bai Metropoli­tan Re­gion, in­clud­ing Ltt-thane, Diva – Va­sai Road, Apta – Nagothane and Kasu - Pan­vel, will re­duce travel time for sub­ur­ban com­muters. For 35lakh CR sub­ur­ban com­muters, this could mean a com­fort­able and slightly faster com­mute.

“This is huge exercise, which will be un­der­taken over the next six months. Af­ter this, we will seek the Com­mis­sioner of Rail­way Safety’s per­mis­sion to in­crease the speed of the train. This will mainly ben­e­fit long-dis­tance and goods trains. It will also help sub­ur­ban trains op­er­ate smoothly,” said a se­nior rail­way of­fi­cial, re­quest­ing anonymity.

The 12-car vestibule AC train is at the CR Kurla car-shed, where it will be fit­ted with an in­duc­tor by the end of the month. “Static and dy­namic safety tri­als will be con­ducted by Re­search De­signs and Stan­dards Or­gan­i­sa­tion (RDSO). The train will be op­er­a­tional af­ter RSDO is­sues a cer­tifi­cate,” said Agar­wal.

RDSO safety tri­als are manda­tory for all trains which are op­er­ated for the first time on the sub­ur­ban sec­tion.

“The rail­way board will de­cide

whether the train will be op­er­ated on the main, harbour or tran­shar­bour line,” he said.

The train has the ca­pac­ity to carry 400 pas­sen­gers per coach.

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