No Bombardier rakes for Central Railway

At present, Bombardier rakes run on Western Railway alone and have better ventilation, speed and ample leg room between seats.

Written by Neha Kulkarni | Mumbai | Published:December 1, 2016 2:05 am

CENTRAL RAILWAY (CR) commuters have once again lost a chance to travel in the comfortable and modern Bombardier rakes. While CR officials were expecting to receive 14 of these rakes from the fresh order, the present conditions of railway tracks and the height interference with some overbridges will prove to be a hurdle in operating them on the CR section.

At present, Bombardier rakes run on Western Railway alone and have better ventilation, speed and ample leg room between seats.

Though the railway board had considered giving CR a few of the new trains, improper track conditions and height problems have led to this option being discarded, officials said.

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“There were tests conducted by a team of Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) which proved Bombardier rakes to be too tall for height of the bridges in Central Railway. The track conditions were also not considered smooth for their running,” a railway official said.

CR runs 71 Siemens rakes from a total of 144 rakes it possesses at present. Officials also said that receiving new Bombardier rakes would have made a difference to the section as opposed to the usual transfers of rakes from Western Railway.

“The Central Railway was planning to phase off at least 30 of their old rakes with some of the new Bombardier rakes. As the board has ruled against us getting a few of them, we will have to continue operations with the Siemens rakes and some of the old Retro rakes possessed by Central Railway,” a CR official said.

“In a way, not receiving Bombardier rakes is a good move for the Central Railway as we are not equipped with its maintenance. CR also currently uses a mix of different rakes and thus equipping staff with the right technique on handling Bombardier rakes was not feasible at present,” another CR official said.

Officials also confirmed that in place of Bombardier, CR will get an additional 14 Siemens rakes. Western Railway will be receiving 55 more Bombardier rakes in addition to 49 they possess at present.