Mumbai Monorail's maiden ride with passengers
Mumbai will finally get air-conditioned trains later this year. The first phase of the Monorail services that are expected to begin in August 2013, hopes to reduce traffic congestion between Chembur and Wadala
Mumbai’s suburban skyline will soon have a dash of green, blue and pink, courtesy the Monorail services. Six rakes in three different colours — green, blue and pink — will cruise over cars and buses and past swanky apartments in Wadala, RCF colony, Mysore Colony and Chembur, hopefully sometime this August.
The air-conditioning system has been installed inside all coaches of the four-car Monorail. Officials present on Saturday, when the Monorail conducted its maiden run with passengers, said that the temperature inside the coaches can be controlled by the pilot-driver operating the train. In the first phase, the four-car Monorail will ply on the nine-km Wadala to Chembur route.
There will be 72 seats inside every train and a total carrying capacity of 560 passengers. The seats have been painted in different colours depending on the exterior of the rake.
Each stand has three bucket seats in it, while plastic handles have been fixed for people to hold onto apart from steel poles near the doors and below the windows.
Unlike Mumbai’s railway stations that are mostly on the ground level, the monorail platforms will be elevated stations. However, most stations will have staircases instead of escalators, which could prove to be a problem for senior citizens and children. At the first level up the flight of stairs are the ticket counters where passengers will have to swipe their cards and then enter the platforms. The staircase continues up to the platform level.
Every platform will have close circuit TV (CCTV) and fire hydrants to ensure safety for passengers. The semi-transparent roofs have been designed to ensure natural light flows into the platforms all through the day.
“We will start the first phase by August 2013. Presently, a bit of work on signalling and communication is pending and that is expected to be completed within this deadline,” said Rahul Asthana, MMRDA Commissioner.
The entire Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle route is estimated to cost over Rs 3,000 crore and will take another two to three years to complete.