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Rooftop travel to get 17 times more risky

Rooftop travel on the Central Railway will get 17 times more life threatening, as the existing 1,500-volt Direct Current (DC) from Kalyan to CST will be converted to 25,000-volt Alternating Current (AC). The Railway Board (RB) has set a deadline of October to complete this work. On Saturday, RB officials, including Kul Bhushan, member of electrical unit and ex-general manager of CR, met to take stock of the situation. “The deadline set for conversion to 25,000-volt AC is October. We will have to improve the work on the line,” said a CR official, on condition of anonymity. Rooftop travellers could get stuck to the power cables wherever the distance is less than two metres from the rooftop. Last week, two cases of electrocution took place.

Presently, work is on at the Kalyan-CST stretch on CR, CST-Panvel on the Harbour line and Thane-Vashi on the Trans-Harbour line. “The quantum of work is huge. So the authorities at present have fixed the completion date in December 2012,” the officer added.

The electric components of the 1,500-volt DC trains are also being replaced with that of 25000-volt AC. Till now, 12 such rakes have been modified.

Three trains are retrofitted (addition of new parts to an old system) every month at the cost of Rs 4 crore each. This will enable them to run these retrofitted trains post power conversion. 

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