To prevent commuters from falling off crowded trains or risking their lives by standing on the footboard, Central Railway (CR) has written to Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), asking it ensure that the new Bombardier rakes, that are sent to CR, have automatic door-closing facility.
During a felicitation programme Wednesday, S K Sood, general manager, CR, said, “While we will decide our future course of action only after the Bombay High Court’s judgment on the issue of the gap between trains and platform, we are looking at having closed-door trains on CR.”
A senior MRVC official, who did not wish to be named, said, “The request is under examination. We will have to consider whether such technical changes can be made after the contract is already given out and the consequences on the value of contract.”
Under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) phase 2 A, MRVC is procuring 72 12-car rakes for the Mumbai suburban railways. Two prototypes, which arrived in the city back in October 2013, are undergoing testing.
While the first few rakes are expected to be provided on Western Railway, which has already completed traction conversion from 1,500Volt Direct Current to 25, 000Volt Alternating Current, CR expects to receive their first new rake later this year. The new rakes only run on Alternating Current and CR has only converted a part of its section to complete AC.
Atul Rane, chief public relations officer, CR, said, “We have asked the MRVC to ensure that the new rakes to be provided under MUTP 2 must have the door-closing facility.”
A cost of Rs 4 crore will be incurred per rake to add the automatic door closing feature and appropriate ventilation system in a new train while a cost of Rs 6 crore will be incurred if the same has to be done later in existing trains, said a CR official.