Officials from the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) have said that the new air-conditioned rakes will be able to transport 10 per cent more commuters in each coach as opposed to the current ones. The rakes are expected to be procured under phase III of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) by 2020.
According to Indian Express, in order to facilitate increased passenger capacity, the rakes' technical design will be adjusted accordingly. It was reported in April that the railways is all set to invite tenders for the next lot of 47 AC rakes having 12 coaches each.
The Indian Railways has decided to convert all trains procured under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project III into AC ones, even though Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu agrees that the AC train under trial has been facing unexpected technical glitches and that there were flaws in its manufacturing.
According to the previous calculations, the cost of procuring rolling stocks for non-AC local trains, including 564 coaches, was estimated to be Rs 2,899 crore. If there were 12 coaches in each rake, the total number would be 47 and the cost of a single rake would be Rs 61 crore.
But with the AC rakes being approved, senior officials expect the cost to increase by at least Rs 20 crore per rake.
But if the railways decides to get better versions of the AC rakes, like those of the Metro rail, the cost of procuring each rake would not be less that Rs 100 crore.
An official further said that the Railway Board was working on the specifications of the AC local trains, which would be out in the next two months. Only after that the railways would call for the tenders.
Currently, the Central and Western Railway run 1,669 trips and 1,306 trips respectively in the suburban system. Once the vendor for manufacturing electrics for the rakes is finalised, the coaches will be manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory.
The new trains are expected to run on the Main and Harbour line on the Central and Western Railway line. They will contain three ladies compartments, one disabled coach and two luggage compartments, which will be located on both ends of the locomotive.
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