These trains will be vestibuled with all electricals and equipment underslung near the wheels; MRVC appoints consultants to migrate entire Mumbai local train fleet to AC locals
The test train that is at Mumbai Central railway station
A new set of guidelines and regulatory approvals issued by the Indian Railways on Monday will permit a full 12-coach walkthrough design for air-conditioned local trains to be manufactured in the future. The completely vestibuled AC local train, with all electricals and equipment underslung near the wheels, will be able to ferry more passengers than regular AC trains, and one such test train is at the Mumbai Central station.
The other items that will be provided to the new set of AC local trains include a fire detection system and automatic smoke and fire detection alarms. The motorman/guard will also have entry/exit provision from the passenger area.
‘Need an expert’
Though there has been improvement with regards to the aesthetics, the railway board has asked manufacturers to engage an expert in interior designing to further improve the decor, overall look of the train from outside, colour scheme and driver’s cab in future trains.
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There is a long-term plan to convert the entire fleet of Mumbai local trains into AC locals. These 238 Mumbai-customised AC local trains—47 under MUTP-3 and 191 under MUTP-3A—having inbuilt infotainment, CCTV with better acceleration, are in process of approvals.
With this in mind, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has now appointed Systra as consultants on how to migrate the existing Mumbai local train fleet to AC locals with least inconvenience to commuters. “The objective is to develop a migration strategy for conventional local trains to AC local trains in an efficient manner from the operation point of view with least inconvenience to commuters,” an official said.
‘A sensitive matter’
A senior railway official explained that the problem begins with fare, then replacement of regular locals with that of AC trains as any change or shift in train patterns or changes with the existing set up of timetable is always very sensitive for Mumbai suburban commuters, and leads to widespread protests and litigation. “A smart way needs to be found to introduce AC trains without disturbing the existing services at any level,” he added.
The MRVC’s nine-point plan calls for the consultants to study the existing data/records regarding present traffic Origin-Destination matrix, commuter profile, comfort and ease of travel, peak/non-peak hour travel, etc. and to provide year-wise induction plan of AC locals, to study the existing timetable, train links, stabling plan and operational strategy and earmark different accommodation such as for ladies, senior citizens, divyangjans, vendors, etc. It also calls for them to study the workings of 15/16 car trains, simulate virtual operational feasibility and develop an overall strategy for migration to AC locals with no major changes to be made in the existing timetable.