Christmas proved an unique boon to the Mumbaikars as the Railways introduced the first ever
air-conditioned suburban local train
between Borivali and Churchgate on the Western Railway (WR).
long awaited dream of Nation especially of Mumbaikars, an official release said,
for ‘Cool Travelling’ in ‘Air Conditioned local
train’ is going to be a pleasant reality, as First Ever Broad Gauge Air-conditioned AC EMU suburban train
consisting of 12-car (12 coaches) fitted with Indigenous 3-phase Propulsion
system of Ms BHEL on Mumbai Suburban Section of
Western Railwayis to be introduced on Monday, 25th December,2017.
As a New Year bonanza for the Nation and for Mumbaikars, this first Air
Conditioned local train will depart on its historical introductory
from Borivali station at 10.30 hrs and will reach Churchgate station on
Monday, 25th December, 2017.
the introduction the AC local train will be operated on the experimental basis
between Churchgate & Borivali stations for a week i.e. from 25th December
to 31st December, 2017. Afterwards w.e.f. 1st January,
2018, this AC local train will be operated on regular basis as per the
scheduled time table between Churchgate & Virar stations. Accordingly,
w.e.f. 1st January, 2018, total 12 services (6 services in UP
& 6 services in DOWN direction) of AC suburban train will be operated
on weekdays only i.e. from Monday to Friday. It is decided that on Saturdays
& Sundays, the rake of AC local train will not be operated for maintenance
purpose, says the release.
According to WR chief spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar, six return services (total
12) will operate on the suburban sector at regular intervals on all weekdays,
with the weekends kept free for maintenance purposes.
As per the current plans, of these
12 daily services, eight will be operated as 'fast trains' on the congested
Churchgate-Virar (Palghar) sector, three between Churchgate-Borivali, both with
halts only at major stations, while one will ply as a slow service halting at
all stations between Mahalaxmi-Borivali.
Manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, the full AC air-suspension
coaches have a capacity of carrying nearly 6,000 commuters per rake, automatic
door opening-closing system, LED lights, Emergency Talk Back system between
commuters and guard besides a public address system, advanced GPS-based
passenger information systems, speeds of upto 100 kmph, air-tight vestibules
inter-connecting all 12 coaches, other modern amenities and the latest safety
features for commuters.
Passenger comfort has been given great
attention; there are separate coaches set aside for ladies and senior citizens.
In this AC local train, according to the official
release, coaches reserved for Ladies & Seats
earmarked for Senior Citizens/Divyangs are different from Standard
Configuration. 1st and 12th coach from
Churchgate end are earmarked as Ladies coaches and 7 seats in 2nd and
11th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked for Senior
citizens while 10 seats in 4th and 7th coach from Churchgate
end are earmarked for Divyangs.
Comfort without safety will not be comfort
at all with anxiety for safety taking away much of the experience of happy
travel. Railways have thoughtfully introduced safety initiatives also. The
statement says, ‘It is also decided that suitable
number of RPF constables will be deployed in each coach of this train to ensure
proper security. Similarly, technicians will also be deputed in the train for
trouble shooting purpose. Suitable announcements will also be ensured for
opening of the door as per the platform position of upcoming station.’
As for the fare for this historic train, the
base fare of the single journey will be 1.3 times that of the existing first
class fare. However, as an introductory offer, the fare for the first six
months will be 1.2 times the fare of the existing first class tickets.
The commuters who took the first
ride went into raptures expressing delight.