The Western Railway (WR) is set to add one more air-conditioned (AC) rake to its existing fleet by October. The rake will be supplied by the Integral Coach Factory (IFC), Chennai.
After this addition, the number of AC local train services might increase by 31, said an official. At present, the Western Railway has five AC rakes and it runs 48 AC services between Churchgate and Virar.
Railway sources said they will release a new timetable on October 1, and it will become clear by then how many new services will be introduced.
Rajiv Singhal, former member of Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee, welcomed the move. He said, “The need of the hour is to increase AC services. The existing trains are running at full capacity. Also, AC local trains can prevent passengers from falling off crowded trains as their doors remain shut.”
According to ridership data provided by Western Railway, 55,500 passengers availed of AC local train services on a daily basis in August 2022. On September 5, the ridership count crossed 1.25 lakh. A single AC local ticket between Virar and Churchgate costs Rs 115 and a season ticket (monthly) costs Rs 2,205.
The Central Railway provides 56 AC local services. The average number of passengers in AC local trains has increased from 1,954 in January 2022 to 49,716 in September 2022.