Mumbai's fastest trains in last phase of testing

Jan 06, 2014, 09:21 IST | Shashank Rao

Railway authorities are checking the performance of the new Bombardier rakes at high speeds and on tracks that curve for more than two degrees; once inducted, the local trains will run at 110 kmph

You may soon be able to travel in a fresh set of rakes on the suburban railway corridor, if things go well. Railway officials are in the final phase of trials and tests for the new Bombardier rakes.

Mumbai’s fastest trains in last phase of testing coming soon? Authorities say the new Bombardier rakes will be tested at speeds up to 130 kmph. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Ever since the rakes were first inducted in October 2013, the Western Railway (WR) authorities have been conducting physical tests on them. These include the trains being run at high speeds late at night (2-4 am), checking the train’s vibration when in movement, the functioning of wires, cables and other equipment inside the train, its synchronisation with the signals next to the tracks and other details.

Sources said that the trains would finally be tested on stretches where they can run at high speeds on a curve. “We want to test these rakes on tracks that curve for more than two degrees. This will be done on the Central Railway route,” said a WR official on condition of anonymity.

Only a couple of days back, the rakes were sent to Vasai for testing, from where they will now be taken to the Central Railway line via the Vasai-Diva route. Officials added that they want to continue trials and ascertain the rakes’ performance on stretches with steep curves and also check their ability to run at high speeds.

“Such stretches are present on the Kalyan-Karjat/Kasara routes,” added the official. The current assessment is being done at speeds of 130 kmph and beyond — the same will be done on the CR route as well. If they manage to clock this speed, the Bombardier rakes will get permissions from relevant departments within Railway Board, Research, Design and Safety Organisation (RDSO) -- Indian Railway’s research wing, and Commissioner of Railway Safety, to run at 110 kmph on Mumbai’s suburban lines.

This would then make it the fastest local in the city. The present Siemens lot runs at a maximum speed of 100 kmph and older rakes can touch 80 kmph. “Even this small increase in speed will allow us to improve the punctuality further in the near future,” said another WR official.

Once the rakes get the clearance, the first two may be inducted into the current fleet by March this year. As per plans, the railways will bring in 72 Bombardier EMUs by 2015. Gradually, after all approvals are received on its specifications, every month at least two or more such trains would be manufactured, each having 12 coaches. Sharat Chandrayan, Chief PRO, Western Railway told MiD DAY, “RDSO is conducting different trials on this rake. We are expecting them to be included in services by the end of February or March.” 

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