Passengers on Western Railway’s suburban line don’t seem very happy with the extension of the local services from Dahanu to Dadar. After the inauguration of the Virar-Dahanu suburban section, the MEMU (Mainline Electrical Multiple Units) trains that ran between Virar and Dahanu have been extended till Dadar.
According to regular commuters, the MEMU trains cause a lot of confusion since they look like express trains and not local trains. Another bone of contention, especially among female passengers, is the gap between the platform and the train. According to railway officials, many meetings were held before the decision was taken to extend the services. “The confusion among passengers and the gap between the platform and the train were points of discussion during the meeting,” said an official.
Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO for WR, said, “We are running the MEMU trains on a temporary basis because we are falling short of electric multiple units (EMUs). We have extended the services at the demand of passengers. Moreover, the gap between the platform and the train is the same as in passenger train.”
“Most of the time, the train goes empty because passengers are not aware about the shuttle service being extended to Dadar, and these don’t look like regular local trains,” added the official. The MEMU has 12 coaches.
Interestingly, there is no reserved first class coach for female passengers. The door of the train is very small and during peak hours, it becomes difficult for the passengers to board. The first class coaches have cushioned seats, while the general class coaches have wooden seats.
A MEMU’s width is 10 feet, while that of an EMU is 12 feet. The gap between the train and platform is very huge, and causes inconvenience to passengers. “We have received a few complaints from passengers, especially female passengers, about the gap but we can’t do anything as it’s a management decision,” said a motorman on condition of anonymity.
I was confused whether it’s a local train or an express train but when I saw a few passengers getting in I entered the train.
- Vishal Lamba, boarded from Andheri
I heard an announcement that this shuttle will go till Dadar and I got into the coach. Along with other passengers, I was waiting for the regular EMU train. The gap between the platform and the train is the main problem most women face.
- Sandhya Sarkar, boarded from Vasai Road
Timings of MEMU services
Dahanu to Dadar: 7.45 pm, 2.15 pm
Dadar to Dahanu: 5.15 am, 4.55 pm