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WR seeks to reduce AC local turnaround time

Published On : 05 Mar 2018   |  Reported By : Courtesy: The Hindu   |  Pic On: Photo credit : The Hindu

Mumbai, (The Hindu): Faced with commuter complaints about the AC local train schedule affecting regular services, the Western Railway (WR) has turned its focus on improving the premium service’s overall turnaround time.

Introduced two months ago, the premium service presently has only one AC rake running 12 daily services, except on weekends and days like Holi due to possible damage by revellers.

Railway officials said the turnaround time is more for the AC local as it stops for 60 seconds at each scheduled stop, while non-AC locals stop for only 20-25 seconds. They said the AC local takes longer at each station due to the time taken by the rake’s automated doors. A WR official said, “Sometimes, trains running behind an AC local on the Virar-Borivali stretch are delayed because of the latter’s longer wait time at stops. They try to make up for lost time on the Borivali-Churchgate stretch of the journey.”

Mukul Jain, Divisional Regional Manager, WR, said efforts were on to reduce the AC local’s wait time. Another WR official said it takes seven to 10 seconds for the guard to close the doors and signal the motorman. To reduce the time taken, WR will be introducing a new system in which the guard signals the motorman first, and then closes the doors. “The motorman will be ready to move by the time the doors are closed. An indicator on the console will also affirm that all doors have been closed,” the official said.

More AC rakes

The WR has placed orders for nine more AC rakes from Bharat Heavy Engineering Limited (BHEL), and the first of these is expected to arrive in nine months. The feasibility of creating two classes is being considered, as is having a train with three or six AC coaches. Railway officials said locomotive manufacturers Siemens and Bombardier have shown interest in the latter option.

In all, 47 AC rakes are to be procured under the third phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP). This would make it possible to replace three coaches on a non-AC train with air conditioned ones.

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