NEW AIR-CONDITIONED suburban train rakes, to be procured by 2020, will be able to intake 10 per cent more passengers in each coach in comparison to the existing rakes, officials from the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) said. Technical design of the rake will be modified in such a way that it would increase the passenger capacity of coaches.
The 47 rakes will be procured under the phase III of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP). After the Railway Board gave its consent on the air-conditioning of the rakes last month, officials have been deliberating over the technical design of the rakes, which include different compartments to be included and routes on which they can run.
“Different specifications like a metro-rake type model which includes gangway corridors, absence of motor coaches and wider passenger coaches will help in better intake. An automatic door closing system will ensure a systematic network for commuters to stand inside the coaches,” a senior MRVC official said.
At present, the Central Railway runs 1,660 trips while Western Railway caters to 1,306 trips per day in the suburban system. “More demand of services in the last few years sees increased crowd per coach in trains. Through automatic door closing system and wider coaches, we will will ensure a reduction of accidents and fatalities of commuters through falling down from running trains by at least 25 per cent on a daily basis,” the official added.
The new trains will be run on all the three lines – Main and Harbour line on the CR and Western line. A decision on the line on which a prototype rake could run is yet to be taken as that would determine its compatibility with the suburban system. The rakes are expected to contain three compartments earmarked for ladies, one coach for disabled and two coaches at both ends of the train for luggage compartment. Officials are deliberating whether AC coaches should be retained for the luggage compartment considering the presence of perishable food items.
“As it would be a centralised AC system, retaining AC in the coaches for commuters carrying luggage and foodstuff could prove to be a disadvantage to others as the smell of food could spread across coaches. We are looking at options to ensure how the problem could be avoided,” the official added.
The coaches of the rakes will be manufactured in the Integral Coach Factory after a vendor for manufacturing electrics for the rakes is finalised. Tenders will be floated worldwide to invite companies with the latest technology.
“The rakes will be manufactured only after the technology with which the conditioning needs to be done gets decided. We are expecting to float the tenders by September,” the official added. The cost of manufacturing per coach will be around Rs 3 crore, lesser than Rs 8-9 crore per coach of a metro rake, the official said.