Mumbai: Automatic doors to debut on WR in 2015

The doors will open only after the train halts at a station and close before it leaves

The Western Railway (WR) is set to run a local train in 2015 with doors that shut automatically, on one of its coaches. It will be the first local train wherein the system will be used, though on a trial basis.

Mumbaikars will have to get used to the idea of doors that close automatically on local trains. File pic
Mumbaikars will have to get used to the idea of doors that close automatically on local trains. File pic

But Mumbaikars will have to show some courage and discipline while boarding the train, for the doors will only open when it halts at the station and close before it’s leaving.

On Tuesday, the General Manager of Western Railway, Hemant Kumar, and other senior officials went to Mahalaxmi carshed where this technology is being tested. The officials claim that the system is more or less in place and within 8 weeks it will be tested on the field.

The system will initially be used in a first class ladies compartment. “Presently it is being tested in a conventional Direct Current train that is parked inside the carshed. As it has proved successful, we can use it in any other rake that is part of the fleet carrying commuters,” said a WR official.

According to the technical specifications, the door will take 2.5 seconds to open and 2.5 seconds to close. During peak hours, alighting and boarding a moving local train will also have to stop, as the doors will open only after the train halts and close before it departs.

Senior WR officials say that there are certain other implications of automatic doors. These include the need for better ventilation, for which authorities say the shaft on the roof will be widened and bigger windows will be provided. The luggage rack inside will get shorter as the door will take more space. The automatic door is also yet to be connected to the motorman-guard’s cabin.

They will be in a position to operate it. However, this will be done for the first train trial. “We will be spending R4.5 crore on every 12-car train for installing this automatic door system,” said a senior WR official. The plus point of the automatic doors is that instances of people travelling on the footboard, hanging out, jumping in or alighting a moving train or doing stunts while standing on the footboard, will be avoided.

However, the Central Railway that first proposed this idea, is skeptical about it due to lack of funds. “We would like to retrofit all the suburban rakes with the automatic door closing system, which will need an investment of R600 crore. This is required to reduce the number of casualties due to over-crowding,” said a CR official.

Raising platforms
>> The CR will raise and resurface platforms at 23 stations on the Main and Harbour lines in the days to come
>> These include vital stations like Wadala, Kalyan, Ambernath, Byculla, Currey Road, Matunga, Vashi and Belapur
>> They will be doing this at the cost of Rs 16 crore

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