Commuters on the Western Railway (WR) may soon be able to avail AC local train services on weekends as well, with the WR receiving its fourth AC train on Sunday. After basic trials, the rake is likely to be included in commercial operations in about a month.
“Due to unavailability of rakes, we were not running AC rakes on weekends. The reason behind this was that every Saturday, after providing five days’ service, the running rake would go for maintenance on Saturday. If the recently arrived rake gets commissioned, then WR can ply AC services on weekends as well,” a senior WR official said.
Late on Sunday evening, the rake, procured from Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF), reached the Virar carshed. A WR official said that within a month, after basic trials are completed, the rake will be included in operations.
Of the four AC rakes running locally, a WR source said three were built by Bharat Heavy Electrics Limited (BHEL) and the fourth was made by the Hyderabad-based Medha Servo Drives. The BHEL rake is overdue for maintenance and is likely to go for a periodic overhaul (POH) soon, the source added.
“After 15 months of service, the rake requires maintenance work. The second AC rake earlier had some technical problems, which have been resolved. Trials on Central Railway have been completed and the rake is with the WR,” said Sunil Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), WR.
Kumar added that a second rake which BHEL designed will replace the running rake within 15 days. “In MEDHA rakes, equipment like the electric converters are below the rake. In cities like Mumbai, where high tide leads to waterlogging on railway tracks, it is difficult to run the underslung prototype rake,” he said.
Kumar said the newly-arrived rake had already been tested and prepared on the basis of structure in the Mumbai division and is therefore likely to be pressed into service after basic trials. He further said the route of the rake has not been decided yet.