New and improved AC train that Mumbai designed is on its way

Updated: Dec 31, 2018, 13:09 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

The train, upgraded after feedback from Mumbai commuters on the first AC train, has a talk back system and can even run on flooded tracks

The new, improved AC train will be here next month
The new, improved AC train will be here next month

Mumbaikars, there's more 'cool' comfort on track for you. The new air-conditioned local train for Mumbai, that was unveiled on Friday, has incorporated several features as suggested by local commuters in their feedback for the first train. This includes wider gangways for more people to walk and stand comfortably in a crowd, improved luggage racks and much more.

Sudhanshu Mani, general manager of Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, in an interview with mid-day, said the new AC local that will be here in January, also has a talk back mechanism, a first for local trains, wherein commuters can contact the train guard in an emergency. He also said with the underslung motor equipment, the train will be able to run at slow speeds even during flooding.

Why Second AC Local In Mumbai Has Commuters Worried

Given the recent development where union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal asked both the Central and Western Railways to convert all trains into 15-car ones, Mani said that the Integral Coach Factory is ready to supply trains of any formation and numbers. By April 2020, Mumbai will get over 10 AC locals.

Sudhanshu Mani GM, ICF

How is the second air-conditioned EMU different from the first? Does it have better capacity and improved passenger amenities?
This sister of Train 18 is a much improved version of the earlier air-conditioned EMU for the Mumbai suburban railway network. It has many features adapted from Train 18. This EMU has underslung electricals leaving the entire on-board space for passengers. Hence the carrying capacity increased by about 10%. The sealed gangways (the link between coaches) have been made wider and one can now walk end to end as in a metro. The talk back system with the driver as in Train 18 has been introduced. The train has more power and better acceleration.

Will the underslung propulsions mean that trains won't run on flooded tracks?
The underslung unit has been fitted in such a way that the train can run even on a flooded track at a slow speed.

Has the door opening, closing mechanism been speeded up?
The automatic door closing mechanism remains the same, considering passenger safety. However, due to faster acceleration and deceleration of the present power pack, the lost time is adjusted in running. Additionally, the powering has been increased from earlier 30% to 50% presently. This was possible with every alternative coach powered by overhead traction.

Does ICF need any feedback specifically from Mumbai commuters as this city uses maximum EMU trains?
Based on the Railway and commuter feedback already received on the first air-conditioned EMU rake, the gangways have been made wider for easy inter-coach movement. The width of the luggage rack has also been adjusted resulting in minimum or no discomfort to passengers. I am also thankful for the responses of the public on Twitter, which helped us improve designs.

Finally, the design of EMUs has now been upgraded to 15 cars for Mumbai. Will ICF be able to manufacture 15-car trains in future?
This being an EMU viz Electric Multiple Unit, any number of units can be added in multiples. In this case, a unit consists of 4 coaches as in Train 18. So, the number of coaches can be increased in multiples of 4, which is one basic unit. However this has to be decided by the concerned railway as it involves aspects like operational requirements, platform length etc. Technically, ICF can supply rakes in any formation and number of coaches, as per requirement.

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