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New year’s gift: Mumbai to get its first AC local on January 1

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 class equivalents.

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.

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