INCREASING THE pick-up time of the new rakes, to be procured under the third phase of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), will remain an essential specification, sources from the Railways said. Under MUTP III, Mumbai suburban section is set to receive additional 47 rakes with new technology and passenger comfort features, said officials. Among them, vestibule coaches, as seen in Metro rakes, and automatic doors will remain the key elements.
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“We are aiming at installing more power coaches, which would mean installation of additional motor systems inside the rake. Increasing the pick up speed of the new rakes will continue to be our priority, which means journey between two stations will be covered in lesser time. This will be possible through better retrofitting and modern design,” said an official of Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) — the nodal agency for MUTP III.
While both Central and Western Railways are working on retrofitted coaches with automatic door closure, a similar attempt by Western Railways had failed in the past. What remains a challenge is giving enough time to commuters to get in before the doors close.
“Automatic doors will require additional seconds of halt, than the present stoppage time. This is to ensure that commuters wait till the doors are completely open and not rush when they begin to close. As this will require an additional fifteen seconds of the maximum thirty-seconder wait at stations now, we have pressed for more motor coaches to ensure a better speed pick-up,” added the official.
The better speed will not delay the time-tabling of trains running in a congested corridor. “We cannot increase the overall speed of the rakes considering technical and operational limitations. Hence, ways to balance the journey time of rakes with automatic doors, along with ordinary rakes, is being discussed to ensure both run parallel in the suburban system without any hiccup. Henceforth, each coming rake is likely to be fitted with automatic doors to curb deaths of people after falling from trains,” said the official.
While finalising air-conditioning technology of the rakes remains uncertain, both Central and Western Railways have given a green signal to its welcome in the suburban system. The final design of the new rakes will be released by the Railway Board by March end.
Airolo-Kalwa tender by Feb-end
The tender for Rs 428-crore Airoli-Kalwa line project is likely to be made public by February end, said MRVC officials. It includes building Dighe station and an elevated track to connect Kalwa station.