MUMBAI is likely to get a dozen new Air-Conditioned (AC) local trains by April 2020, said the General Manager, Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Sudhanshu Mani. “The ICF will roll out its second AC local by December 31. By April 2020, Mumbai can have a dozen AC locals,” Mani said.
Currently, one AC local plies between Churchgate and Virar stations on the Western Railway (WR). The train is popular, especially during the peak hours.
ICF in Chennai is working on three types of AC trains. The first type will have under slung propulsion equipment and the on-board space can be fully utilised by passengers. Mani said these rakes would be a game changer. “This will have large gangways connecting all 12 coaches of the train. The AC EMU will have a carrying capacity that is around 10 per cent more than other AC rakes that have equipment on-board,” Mani said.
In the second type, the rakes would be partially air-conditioned. The full AC EMU rakes made at ICF would be split into halves and six AC coaches will be attached to the existing six non-AC coaches to make a partial AC 12 car train. In the third type, the AC EMU will have on-board equipment and a continuous gangway connection between each of the six coaches.
On Sunday, Train 18, the country’s first locomotive-less train, clocked a top speed of more than 180 kmph during a trial run. “It is noteworthy that the Railways did not have ready technology for 160 kmph fit motorised bogies. Developing such bogies with fully suspended traction motors and under-slung propulsion system was a tough task. Our exteriors have often been singled out for criticism and we had to innovate, within our limitations, to present an attractive exterior,” Mani said
He added that the ICF has plans to manufacture train sets with sleeper coaches for travelling at 160 kmph, which will eventually replace the Rajdhani trains. “There is a plan to manufacture full aluminum body coaches for train sets for which ICF is awaiting advice from the Railway Board.”