Commute for 35 lakh passengers to get faster, more comfortable
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.