Western Railway to convert its 15-car local into partial AC one
Six coaches of the new one will be detached and fixed to a regular 12-car train, to convert it into a partial AC local
With one more train arriving in the weekend, the Western Railway now has five 12-car AC local trains in its fleet. This includes a swappable partial AC train which could be split and attached to a regular local train and Western Railway has plans to convert one of its 15-car trains into a partial AC train.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior railway official said, "The train that will arrive this weekend is a swappable rake. The idea is to remove six coaches of the new AC local and attach it to an existing nine-car train. It will be a win-win situation for everyone as services of all the AC trains will slowly be introduced."
"This will not cause much inconvenience for commuters as no services will be cancelled. The AC locals will be part of the existing services," he added. While two AC locals are in service in the WR section, one is under periodic overhaul. The fourth underslung one is undergoing trials while the latest one will come in this weekend.
Another idea mooted earlier was splitting the AC train into single units of three coaches and adding them to the existing 12-car trains. However, sources said that the practicality and technicality of this idea would have to be explored.
A WR spokesperson said they were in consultation with the Research, Design and Standards Organisation, the Indian Railways' technical consultancy arm, to explore numerous possibilities of running the AC local and the nature of the trials to be undertaken. He further said that once the technicalities were sorted out, a decision would be taken.
It was first reported in mid-day on December 29, 2017, that Director of MRVC, Dr P C Sehgal had suggested that the Railways should split the AC trains instead of running a complete 12-car local, so that passengers from all sections could access it. According to him, this could be worked out instead of forcing an entire AC train on commuters.
Unfazed by the fact that WR is all set to launch five AC locals, Central Railway officials said that they would give their commuters a Diwali bonanza. "The CR's AC train is on track and will be in the city soon. We plan to run it on the Thane-Vashi-Panvel sector, which is free of hurdles," a senior divisional official said.
Why the WR bias?
Rumours have been doing the rounds regarding the railway board's step-motherly treatment of the CR as it hasn't even got a single AC local while the WR has five.
However, the fact of the matter is that the CR section has a number of low bridges, making it impossible for AC trains to run on the line.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019: All you need to know!