The Railways finally has a date to start running the first air-conditioned (AC) train in Mumbai. Union railway minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday announced the train will be operational from January 1.
Addressing the media in New Delhi on Wednesday, Goyal said the trials of the AC train are going on successfully and the local train services will be operational from January 2018. The train will run on the Churchgate-Borivli route of Western Railway (WR). Its fare is planned on the Delhi Metro fare structure, but its details are still being worked out.
“Trials of the AC local train are in the final stage and the approval of the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) is expected by the end of this year,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer, WR.
The AC local train for the city was first announced in the 2012-2013 railway budget, but it actually arrived in Mumbai only in April 2016. Initially, it was supposed to run on Central Railway. It was then parked in a Kurla carshed for months. It had software issues in the beginning and a series of tests and trials were conducted.
Post the trials, CR officials were supposedly reluctant to operate it on their tracks citing technical problems. The train was then handed over to WR for operation on their route.
Interestingly, this is not the first time a deadline for the operation of an AC local train has been given. Earlier, railway board member Ravinder Gupta had stated that the AC local train would start operating by September this year. However, the deadline was missed owing to a series of technical complications in the rake.
Source – Hindustan Times