India’s first air-conditioned local will ply between Churchgate and Virar from December 25, senior officials from the Western Railway (WR) said. The first service of the 12-coach EMU will commence at 2.10 pm between Andheri and Churchgate.
The local was brought to Mumbai from the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, in April 2015. After two years of trials at Kurla and Virar car-sheds in Mumbai, the rake will be inducted into service on Monday. “As a new year bonanza for Mumbaikars, the first air-conditioned local train will be introduced on December 25, 2017. The services will replace 12 existing non-air conditioned services, so the total number of suburban services on WR’s suburban section will remain 1,355, even after the introduction of the AC local,” said Ravinder Bhakar, Chief Public Relations Officer, WR.
This will be the first train with automatic doors in the suburban system. The total capacity of the rake is 5,964, with 1,028 seating capacity and 4,936 standing. Twelve services of the local will ply each day on the WR. Of these, eight will run as fast local trains between Churchgate and Virar, stopping only at major stations, which are Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri, Borivali, Bhayander and Vasai Road. Similarly, three fast services will run between Churchgate and Borivali, stopping at Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra and Andheri. The remaining service will run as a slow service from Mahalaxmi to Borivali, which will stop at all stations. It will not ply on weekends as the rake will undergo maintenance, officials said.
“The AC EMU rake will be placed at Mumbai Central main station on platform 5 for a demonstration on Monday morning. This will be done to sensitise, educate and familiarise commuters regarding features of the train,” Bhaker added.
The first and 12th coaches from Churchgate end are earmarked as ladies coaches and as many as seven seats in the second and eleventh coach from Churchgate end are reserved for senior citizens while 10 seats in the fourth and seventh coaches from Churchgate end are reserved for physically disabled passengers. Officials said a suitable number of Railway Protection Force (RPF) constables will be deployed in each coach to ensure security. “Technicians will also be deputed in the train for troubleshooting. Suitable announcements will also be ensured for opening of the door as per platform position of stations,” Bhaker said. At least eight services are planned on the first day.
The rake received sanction from the Railway Board last week. The Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS) gave the nod to its running under special circumstances, which include fitting each coach of the rake with emergency stairs and ensuring presence of a technician inside the train during each service for the first 15 days. Officials said each recommendation of the CRS has been implemented.
The fare of a single journey ticket of the AC rake would cost 1.3 times the base fare of a first-class ticket. A Mumbai Urban Transport Plan (MUTP) surcharge and Goods and Services Tax (GST) would be levied separately on total fare.
However, passengers will be charged 1.2 times the first class ticket cost in the initial six months. “For example, the present base fare of a single journey ticket between Churchgate and Virar in the first class is Rs 170, then according to the formula, the base fare for AC train turns out to be Rs 204 for the initial six months. It would later increase to Rs 221, based on fare calculation model. Respective surcharge of MUTP and GST would be levied on total AC fare,” a senior railway official said. The present MUTP surcharge for card ticket holder is Rs 6 for a journey between 11-150 kilometres. For monthly season pass, it is Rs 60, Rs 90 and Rs 120 for the respective distances.
Weekly, fortnightly and monthly season tickets for the AC train will be charged equivalent to 5, 7, 5 and 10 times a single journey ticket fare of the AC train. “The one week pass will be valid for seven days since day of issue. We are yet to calculate the total fare of the ticket after implementing the respective GST and MUTP surcharge. This should be done by tomorrow morning,” a senior WR official said.
“The fare structure would help elite commuters travelling in cars to use the train. The higher fares will also ensure limited crowd inside the train, ensuring comfortable travel during peak hours. We aim to encourage ‘eco-friendly’ mode of travel. It will also attract better revenue for the division,” a senior Western Railway official said.
Passenger alarm indication light in all coaches: Each coach provided with an indication light on both sides. These lights are integrated with alarm chain pulling system.
* Emergency Talk Back unit in passenger areas (four in each coach) to communicate with motorman/guard during any emergency.
* To evacuate passengers in case of emergencies, emergency ladders with signage inside the coach.
*n Each AC coach equipped with 2 fire extinguisher with instructions to operate.
* GPS-based passenger information system with audio-visual indication of stations for guard-driver/ passenger communication.
* Facility of announcement from motorman and guard cab to passenger area.