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India’s First Ever Broad Gauge Air-conditioned AC EMU: Railways’ New Year Bonanza For The Nation Especially for Mumbaikars

 This 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).

The 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.

 

After 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.

 


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