Railway minister, Piyush Goyal announces AC locals to start running by December 25

Updated: Nov 28, 2017, 18:59 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar

Piyush Goyal pays a visit to CSMT's heritage gallery, announces grand plans of an extended museum and likelihood of air-conditioned local running by Dec 25

If all goes well, the much-awaited air-conditioned local train will start running as early as December 25. Won't that be a very Merry Christmas then! The AC local announcement came from Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who visited the heritage gallery at CSMT yesterday, interacting with commuters en route. Goyal, who was accompanied by art director Nitin Desai and INTACH vice-chairperson Tasneem Mehta, also proposed grand plans of an extended heritage transport museum for Mumbai.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal at the CSMT heritage gallery
Railway minister Piyush Goyal at the CSMT heritage gallery

Museum move
Divisional railway officials said the minister has plans to convert the entire CSMT building into a museum complete with outdoor exhibits, representing railway history in a perspective, given the fact that it is the Ground Zero for Indian Railways. The heritage gallery today is a small room that preserves and displays relics of India's first railway company found along the line. The station building, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, is one of the most important stations around the world.

mid-day had recently highlighted how Central Railway and INTACH had joined hands to kick-off phase two of the restoration of the building and that the CSMT's eastern and southern facades that house the heritage gallery are in line for a touch-up.

Mehta said, "Railways has been the backbone of India and the great unifier of this country. Construction of railways changed the way India was. It connected people from the north and the south and built India as one nation. This romance of travel and historical importance of the railways has to come out well."

Taking stock
Earlier in the day, Goyal visited Elphinstone Road and Currey Road stations to review work on foot overbridges (FOBs) and other upgrades that are happening after the September 29 stampede. He also went through the designs that were made by the Indian Army for FOBs.

Goyal said he was quite happy with the collective efforts of the Army and railway teams, and also with the fact that an additional bridge would soon be ready at Elphinstone Road station. At Currey Road station, the new bridge has a few issues, as the land belongs to a private party, but railway officials are expected to sort it out at the earliest.

A painful end to Piyush Goyal's day
Later in the day, after finishing his visit of the CSMT heritage gallery, Goyal complained of stomach pain. Railway officers immediately called the consulting physician at Bombay Hospital, Gautam Bhansali, to the spot. Dr Bhansali took him to Breach Candy Hospital and got his CT scan done, which revealed a 4mm stone in his right kidney. However, the minister won't need a surgery as the stone is small and will get dissolved with medicines. He has been admitted there for a day's observation and is expected to be discharged today.


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