Mumbai gets India's first AC local train

This will be the first train with automatic doors in the suburban system

Manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, the fully air-conditioned air-suspension coaches have a capacity of carrying almost 6,000 commuters per rake, automatic door opening-closing system, LED lights, Emergency Talk Back System between commuters and guard besides a public address system, advanced GPS-based passenger information systems, speeds of upto 100 kmph, air-tight vestibules inter-connecting all 12 coaches, other modern amenities and latest safety features for commuters. Indicatively, for the first six months, a ride from Churchgate to Dadar will cost around Rs 95, while riding all the way to Virar will cost Rs 220.

The development was described as "historical" for Mumbai's lifeline, the suburban train network, which started in 1867 when the first local train was hauled by a steam engine.

In the first phase, WR will ply 12 services five days a week.

On the inaugural run, the train began its journey from Borivli to Churchgate station of the Western Railway (WR).

Aakanksha Bajpai (26), who travels from Borivali to Churchgate everyday, said, "I am so happy that the train is coming to the Western line". While the inaugural run of the first AC local was met with overall enthusiasm, there were some issues that were hard to brush under the carpet. "One slow service of the AC local will operate between Mahalaxmi to Borivali", the statement added.

The total capacity of the rake is 5,964 with 1,028 seating capacity and 4,936 standing
The total capacity of the rake is 5,964 with 1,028 seating capacity and 4,936 standing

Initially the AC local will run on an experimental basis for a week in the Churchgate-Borivali section. Railway Protection Force (RPF) constables will be in each coach to ensure security.

Will travelling on the AC local train be more expensive? Besides a monthly season ticket, the AC train will also have weekly and fortnightly season tickets.

Managing a local train with automatic doors that waits ten seconds longer than any other suburban train at each station may affect punctuality.

The AC trains will replace 12 existing non-air conditioned services - six services in up and six in down direction. Any problems would lead to the rake's withdrawal till it is repaired.

The Ladies and Senior Citizen compartments will be configured differently from other rakes.

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