There will be no ladies compartment in the 12 car air-conditioned local trains proposed on the Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR). Both will be following a uniform layout,which is different from the one on existing suburban trains.
In May,the railway board had suggested that both CR and WR follow a uniform layout for their electric multiple unit (EMU) trains. Even as CR & WR rejected it,the board remained firm.
According to sources,the seating arrangement in AC locals will be like the Delhi Metros seats along the windows. The trains will have only one class and same fare for all compartments. The compartments will be connected to each other and a commuter can move from one to the other. A 12-coach AC local is expected to accommodate 2,272 commuters 1,136 seated and 1,136 standing.
Central Railway officials always wanted the seating arrangement in AC local similar to the existing locals as they believe the latter is more comfortable for commuters. They had also asked the railway board to design the AC trains layout similar to existing one on CR so that commuters are not confused as the AC local would halt at the same platforms as non-AC locals, said a senior official. Though efforts have been on from 2001 to run AC locals in Mumbai,the first such service is expected to commence on WR in a year,said sources at the railway board.
In this years budget,WR declared that it would be the first to have AC locals. However,with the CR pulling out all the stops,the race to be the first has gathered pace.
In April,the railway board asked Integral Coach Factory (ICF),Chennai,to manufacture an AC train for CR. But when WR declared that it had successfully converted its suburban section from DC to AC,the board had to order the ICF to make two.
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