A last ride on Harbour line's DC rake saw no takers till Saturday night; officials optimistic about on-the-spot sales
It was a tense Saturday for the Central Railway (CR) as it waited for its grand tickets to be sold out. Even the end of an era, it seemed, wasn't enough to woo even the most interested railway enthusiast to shell out Rs 10,000 for a last ride on the Harbour line's 1,500-volt direct current (DC) train.
At 10 PM on Saturday night, Kurla station's ticket counter saw no buyers for the Rs 10,000 tickets
Announced by the Central Railway (CR) on April 7, their helplines received many enquiries about these once-in-a-lifetime tickets. The sale ended yesterday at 6 pm, and the historic train ride from Kurla to CST at 11.30 pm last night depended on the will of last-minute passengers.
On April 8, mid-day had reported about the expensive tickets pitched for a historic ride as the CR planned to convert the nine-car DC trains into a 25,000-volt alternating current (AC) system. Rajiv Mishra, the principal of JJ School of Arts, where the tickets were being sold, said that almost 450 people had shown interest, but none had translated into actual sales. Had all these potential passengers gone the extra mile, revenue of R450 lakh would have been generated. However, officials were optimistic with 60 people who had promised to buy tickets directly from Kurla station.
Commuters take selfie before the last DC local. Pic/ Atul Kamble
The ticket sales were intended to reach drought-hit farmers in the state. Railway officials refused to slash prices, citing how an IPL match ticket can touch as high as R8,000. Buyers would receive receipts stating 'For drought farmers' against the sum. A senior income tax official said, "The ministry of railways will need to issue an acknowledgment, which can be later referred to the IT department."
The interiors of the old train. Pic/ Atul Kamble
Power surge troubles
"There could be teething troubles in the system for the first three months. It is a long-term improvement plan for the Harbour line," said Amitabh Ojha, divisional railway manager (Mumbai), CR. This would mean instances of overhead cable faults, unit failures of coaches and technical failures due to the sudden surge in power supply from 1,500 volts to 25,000 volts.