Mumbai: 9 more rakes to follow in first AC local's footsteps
After journeying for hours from Chennai, the city’s first air-conditioned train finally reached its destination, in the wee hours of Tuesday. Nine more AC rakes like this one are in the pipeline, but their manufacturing would begin after the success of these trials.
The AC train, which travelled at an average speed of 50kmph in its maiden journey, would be tested at speeds of 120kmph, although it could get permission to ply at maximum speed of 110kmph. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
This train, which travelled at an average speed of 50 kmph in its maiden journey, would be tested at speeds of 120 kmph, although it could get permission to ply at maximum speed of 110 kmph. Several oscillation, speed and braking tests would be conducted during the next 6-8 months on this Rs 55-crore rake. The authorities would also keep heaps of gunny bags filled with stones to test the train’s performance.
This rake has a seating capacity of 1,028, while 4,936 standees can be accommodated at its maximum capacity
As a part of the understanding among the railways, its manufacturing unit — Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai — and electricity supplier BHEL, 10 AC rakes were going to come to Mumbai. “In all, 10 AC rakes have been proposed for Mumbai. The terms and conditions of manufacturing them will depend on the performance of this prototype,” said Narendra Patil, chief PRO, Central Railway.
The train has a unique ‘talking-to-guard’ facility, wherein the commuter can use a speaker to talk to the guard in case of any problem
This 12-car rake has been stationed at the Kurla car shed with the other non-AC rakes. Sadly, the train has already suffered damage. While it was on its way to Mumbai, a miscreant flung a stone at it and damaged a double sealed windowpane worth about R10,000. Sources at the car shed said that they would replace it once they get the specifications of the window, as it has been made-to-order.
The coaches in the train are 20,726mm in length, with a width of 3,622mm. “The officials from BHEL will now connect it to a power source and also facilitate the software developments required for this AC train,” said another CR official. The officials will ensure power supply is restored, software is connected to the AC units (there are two 15-tonne units inside each coach) and LEDs of passenger information systems and other technologies are provided in the train.
When mid-day visited the Kurla car shed, it found some interesting upgrades in this rake. One among them is the option of ‘talking-to-guard’, wherein the commuter can use a speaker to talk to the guard of the train in case of any problem. A black box has also been placed for the same. “The motorman would not be disturbed in anyway. Also, there is an indicator which would flicker inside the motorman’s cabin and even outside, where bulbs have been given for determining the location of the passenger,” said a CR official. Four such LED bulbs have been placed outside the coaches.
Moreover, at end of each coach, which is separated by a vestibule, the floor level rises by a few inches. Also, there are changes in the 3x3 seating arrangement, wherein additional seats have been provided at the end of every coach. Also, the racks meant to place bags look sturdier. However, the main problem would be entering the coach, as the gangway given seems smaller in width.
Rs 55 crore
Cost of the 12-coach AC rake
The seating capacity of the AC rakes
The amount of standees the rakes can accommodate