Central Railway is attempting to find a quick fix for Mumbaikars’ suburban commuting woes. If all goes well, very soon CR passengers will enjoy travelling in local trains at a speed of 100kmph.
A trial run will be conducted today by attaching an additional motor coach to get extra power. If this is successful then all trains will be able to lope at 100kmph instead of the current maximum speed of 80kmph.
“We will be able to run trains faster and more services will be added. The time gap between two trains will be reduced from five minutes to three,” said a CR official CR runs 1,578 services connecting 77 railway stations and ferries 39 lakh passengers daily. So the need for speed cannot be overemphasised. “We were actually supposed to do the tryout last week itself, but since we couldn’t finish all the work on the signals, it was rescheduled for Monday,” said a CR official.
Make haste slowly!
According to another official, if the test run is successful and a safety certificate is issued by the commissioner of railway safety, then the number of daily services can be increased to over 1,700.
In 2007, when the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) rakes were ushered in by both Central and Western railway, it had been said that trains will travel at 100kmph. But because of congestion and traffic on tracks, the target could not be achieved.
“Faster trains are the future of suburban commuting. Though this will not make any difference on the timetable more passengers would be able to reach their destinations at the intended time and people can expect emptier trains because of continuous service,” said a senior railway official.
Even in 2005, CR had done a dummy run for a train at 100 kmph between Kalyan and Kasara.
Though it was discovered that running locomotives at that speed was not very difficult, the poor track conditions restricted the actual speed to 80 kmph.
Speaking with MiD DAY, CR general manager Subodh Jain confirmed the report of the trial run, but said it may take some time to run trains regularly at this speed.
“We have to get the safety certificate from the railway board before running trains at 100 kmph. We will be carrying out the test run on Harbour line by putting an extra motor coach,” he said.
The number of services the Central Railway runs daily
The number of passengers the CR carries daily