Mumbai: Before battling heat, AC local to face rodent test

Apr 04, 2016, 06:41 IST | Shashank Rao

The new AC local train, which will soon reach Mumbai, could face challenges like rodent attacks when it will be parked at the Kurla car shed for a month before launch

Mumbaikars, get ready to battle this heat in the city’s first air-conditioned local train, which left Chennai on Friday to reach Mumbai today or tomorrow. But the railways may not launch it right way. The Central Railway authorities have a list of month-long tasks they have planned for the 12-car train, which will be parked in the Kurla car shed as soon as it arrives.

Also Read: Mumbai: Central Railway derails Western Railway's AC plan

The AC local train has left Chennai and is expected to reach Mumbai soon
The AC local train has left Chennai and is expected to reach Mumbai soon

The silver-blue coloured AC local train, that’s worth R55 crore, will first undergo a test by BHEL and its associates. “These officials will first complete and inspect all the pending electric and software tasks. This will go on for at least a month and it would be stabilised inside the car shed,” said a CR official.

The train’s air-conditioning – powered by two 15-tonne roof-mounted packaging units in each coach and the entire rake would have 24 such units – shall also be inspected. Also, functioning of doors, software updates from the motorman cab, quality of seats and other technical details would be checked while the train stands still in Kurla.

Pest trouble
And since this period will be around a month, as confirmed by railway sources, the train faces a problem of rodents and ants. Sources added that pest control activities have already begun at the Kurla carshed to prevent rats from meddling with the train.

Read Story: Western Railway, Central Railway cold war over AC train

The CR officials however agreed that the problem of ants arises when the train stands at the car shed for a long time. “Ants come and eat up the cables and small wires. Earlier there have been cases where thousands of ants were found inside the brake box and had chewed the wires,” said a senior CR official.

The next thing authorities are worried about is how to ensure proper division of coaches for women commuters. The officials stated that since it a vestibule kind of coach, people would enter indiscriminately. As per its formation, the partition will separate the first six from the last six coaches, with vestibules between every coach.

The authorities said they would have to think of creating a shutter in the middle of the rake where at least two out of six coaches could be kept for women. Sources added that the straps — as seen inside the Metro operating on Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor – wouldn’t work as the number of commuters in the AC train will be very high. As of now the authorities claim that there wouldn’t be any first and general class compartments. Also, with the exterior colour combinations being different than the regular purple-white trains that have been manufactured by the same Integral Coach factory in Chennai, the authorities said they haven’t yet decided if external markings should be done to indicate ladies’ coach. Once the electrical and software work is taken care of, the CR officials will carry out oscillation trials.

The train will be tested at up to 120 kmph but they would seek permission for 110 kmph. Currently, the CR officials are contemplating if the train should run on the Harbour, Trans-harbour or Main line.

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