By 2025, we may never have to suffer a sweaty train ride again. Railway authorities have drawn up plans to replace Mumbai's entire railway fleet with new AC trains that will be nearly identical to the Metro. Tenders will open on October 6 for consultants who wish to design the new rakes.
Mumbai's only AC train is currently cooling its heels at the railway yard, with services scheduled to begin in December. File pics
The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has prepared a 25-page consultancy document that lays out the ambitious plan, under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project III (MUTP III) - procurement of 565 AC coaches, manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.
While the MRVC plans to hire consultants for the body design, interiors and technical details, its document gives an idea of what to expect.
Similarities to Metro
The new trains will have sensor-operated doors; until the doors are shut fully, the train won't move. These will be walkthrough trains like the Metro. "The cars shall have a gangway connecting them to adjoining coaches, excluding the driving cab. The gangways will be weather and draught-proof," states the MRVC document. The entire train will comprise a single class. Only the women's section will be separated from the other coaches.
The train interiors will be optimised for noiseless travel by adding acoustically soft materials to reduce reverberation. The document states that the exteriors will be aesthetically pleasing and minimise the build-up of dirt by doing away with unnecessary bulges or grooves. "The train body shall be designed to be watertight for a service life of at least 36 years without maintenance," added the document.
The one thing different from the Metro will be the existing 3X3 seating arrangement. Given a total travel time of five to six hours from end to end, passenger ergonomics and comfort are prime for seating design, the paper states.
"With user-friendly hand-hold design of stainless steel and non-metallic grab handles, interiors will be pleasing in appearance and free of sharp corners or edges to reduce the possibility of injury, in normal operation or collision," MRVC states, adding that interiors will be resistant to tampering.
Number of air-conditioned coaches to be bought
Estimated cost of procuring the new fleet of trains
You may also like to see: Mumbai to Goa train: First look at the glass-top Vistadome coach
Watch video: Dahisar river touches the danger mark near National Park
Download the new mid-day android app to get updates on all the latest and trending stories on the go https://goo.gl/8Xlcvr