Mumbai's commuters will get air-conditioned local
trains as a new year gift from the railways. Railway minister Piyush Goyal said
the first AC rake will be introduced on Western Railway from Churchgate to
Virar railway stations from January 1. The plan to introduce AC locals in
Mumbai has been on the cards for over a decade.
Initially, the Western Railway will run one AC rake with seven services
daily. A single ticket is likely to cost the same as a first class ticket, but
season passes are expected to be priced around 1.5 times more than their first
The railways has procured nine more EMUs
(electrical multiple unit) AC rakes for Mumbai so that services can be
introduced on Central Railway (CR) as well.
The first AC train was scheduled to run this
month, but operational issues had led to the delay.
Manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory,
Chennai, the AC rake will have electrically operated automatic sliding doors
with the motorman in control. Like ordinary locals, the AC train will have a
halt of 20-30 seconds at station.
Meanwhile, the Railway minister has also mooted
passenger augmentation on the suburban line by beginning elevated train
services in Mumbai area as reported by TOI.
The minister also said that he has already
approved 370 escalators for Mumbai, and CCTVs are to be installed in all the
trains and stations in Mumbai for better security.