Mumbai: 18,000 passengers a day, Western Railway's AC local train completes two years, earns Rs 40 crore
From the time of its inception on December 25, 2017, to December 25, 2019, so far 95.81 lakh passengers have traveled by the AC local, generating revenue of Rs 40.03 crore
The super cool initiative of India's 1st broad gauge AC local train by Western Railway completed it's two successful years on December 25, 2019. This unique air-conditioned train has received immense appreciation and awesome response from Mumbaikars, as, during the last two years, this AC EMU train has earned Rs 40.03 crore from 95.81 lakh passengers which are a worth mentioning record.
According to Ravinder Bhakar, Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, the country's first "Broad Gauge Air-conditioned AC EMU (12-car rake) fitted with Indigenous 3-phase Propulsion system of M/s. BHEL" was received in May 2017 by Western Railway for fulfilling the long-standing demand of Mumbai suburban commuters. Western Railway completed all the Static and Dynamic trials of the rake in co-ordination with RDSO on priority. The long-cherished dream of Mumbaikars for a "Cool Travelling’" experience in an "Air Conditioned local train" finally became a reality on December 25, 2017, when the country's first and only air-conditioned suburban train started its maiden run from Borivli, amidst cheers and applause and headed to its destination at Churchgate. The commuters in the AC local were soaked in a surreal enthusiasm whereas the bystanders on the platform were in awe to watch this swanky train all bedecked and waiting to embark on a historic journey. The ‘"Air Conditioned local train" has added a new milestone in the history of Mumbai Suburban trains.
The "Air Conditioned local train" with state-of-the-art security features consists of an automatic door closing system, talkback system and fire fighting system in each coach. Though the ridership of the AC local was minimal in the early days, but slowly and steadily it started gaining momentum and became a major hit among the commuters during the sweltering summer months. The AC local train initially was running between the Churchgate and Virar section with a total of 12 services (6 services in UP &and 6 services in DOWN direction) on all days except on Saturday & Sunday, when it is taken up for maintenance but w.e.f. September 14, 2019, it is also running on Saturdays and Sundays, making available the cool journey to Mumbaikars on all 7 days of the week. Out of these 12 services, eight-run as fast local trains between Churchgate and Virar, while the other three fast services run between Churchgate and Borivali. The remaining one service runs as slow service from Mahalaxmi to Borivali, which stops at all intermediate stations. For the convenience of ladies, senior citizens and differently-abled, separate coaches were reserved for ladies and similarly, seats were reserved for senior citizens and the differently-abled people. The 1st and 12th coach from Churchgate end are reserved as ladies coaches and seven seats in the 2nd and 11th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked for senior citizens while 10 seats in the 4th and 7th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked for differently-abled people.
Primarily, the ticket price for a single journey on the AC train was 1.2 times that of the same journey in First Class as an introductory offer, but w.e.f. June 1, 2019, it was decided as 1.3 times of the base fare of the existing single journey of the 1st class ticket. Unlike regular local trains, the AC EMU service has the facility of special weekly and fortnightly season tickets. From the time of its inception on December 25, 2017, to December 25, 2019, so far 95.81 lakh passengers have traveled by the AC local, generating revenue of Rs 40.03 crore. On average, approximately 18,000 passengers travel daily by AC local, with about 1500 passengers travelling in each service. During the period of two years, the total sale of tickets for AC local train was 8,43,343 out of which 6,62,565 were journey tickets and 1,80,778 were season tickets. Similarly, a total of 95,80,824 passengers travelled in the AC local train during this period. Out of which 6,81,134 travelled with journey tickets and 88,99,690 travelled with season tickets. In this period, AC local train generated revenue of Rs 40,03,48,944 out of which revenue of Rs 11,00,81,022 was generated through journey tickets, while Rs 29,02,67,922 was received from season tickets.
The AC local earlier had limited halts. Seeing the great potential for the AC local and in view of public demand. the WR provided additional halts to the AC local at Marine Lines, Charni Road, Grant Road, Dahisar, Mira Road, Naigaon and Nallasopara stations in both directions, in addition to its previous halts at Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri, Borivli, Bhayander, and Vasai Road stations with the introduction of new suburban time table which came into effect from November 1, 2018. With the introduction of these additional halts, the commuters have shown greater patronage for the AC local train. This has generated additional revenue for the Railways.
Salient features of Western Railway's AC Local Train:
- Manufactured by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai of Indian Railways
- First Air-conditioned EMU equipped with IGBT based 3 phase propulsion system
- Talk-back system
- Fully air-conditioned rake with a capacity of 30 Ton per coach
- Automatic Door closure system
- LED-based lighting for better illumination and energy conservation
- Equipped with Emergency Talk-back system. Passengers can seek assistance from the guard of the train in distress condition
- Passenger carrying capacity – Seats 1028 Nos. and Total of 4936 passengers
- A LED-based coach identification system for Alarm chain pulling and Door malfunctioning
- GPS based passenger information system with Audio-visual indication of stations
- PA system for Guard-Driver/ Passenger communication
- Stainless steel coaches with straight sidewalls
- Modular luggage racks
- An air suspension system for better Passenger comfort
- Maximum speed – 100 Km/hour
- Air Conditioned Driving Cab
- Aerodynamic nose cone driving cab
- Equipped with Airtight vestibules connecting 6 coaches
- Wide and large double sealed glass window for a panoramic view
- Comfortable modular polycarbonate seats for passengers
- Aluminum extruded modular luggage racks with polycarbonate transparent glass of bottom.
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