Mumbai commuters will soon get 238 Vande Bharat-type air-conditioned local trains. Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has initiated the procurement process with the aim of enhancing the suburban train experience for commuters in Mumbai. If all goes according to plan, the first prototype rake will arrive in the city by March 2026.
MRVC invites tenders
In a notice issued on Wednesday, MRVC invited tenders for the "Procurement cum lifetime maintenance of 2856 coaches (equivalent to 238 rakes of 12 cars each) Vande Metro (Suburban) trains," along with the establishment of new maintenance depots and the upgrade of existing facilities. The selected supplier will be responsible for maintaining the trains for a period of 35 years.
"The process for the procurement of 238 Vande Metro rakes has been started. The first prototype rake is expected within two to two and a half years of finalising tenders," said SC Gupta, CMD of MRVC.
Significant development for Mumbai's suburban train network
The introduction of Vande Bharat-type trains is a significant development for Mumbai's suburban train network, which currently operates at a maximum speed of 110 kmph. The new trains will be capable of running at speeds up to 130 kmph, reducing travel times for thousands of commuters who rely on the local train system daily. Furthermore, the proposed trains will have faster acceleration compared to the existing trains, offering a more efficient and pleasant journey.
"The Vande Bharat-type trains have gained popularity due to their efficient design and passenger-friendly features. These trains incorporate the latest technological advancements in the railway industry, ensuring a smooth and reliable commuting experience. Notable features of the new trains include automatic fire detection and alarm systems, wider inter-car gangways with through connectivity, higher regenerative braking for energy cost savings, and modern aesthetic interiors designed for passenger comfort, safety, and security," said an official.
Additionally, the trains will have state-of-the-art traction technology for improved energy efficiency, large digital display panels providing infotainment and real-time information, USB ports for mobile/laptop charging, and advanced systems such as microprocessor-based fault diagnostics and event recorders. Passenger capacity will be maintained at existing levels, and the trains will feature lateral seating arrangements, CCTV cameras, emergency talk-back systems, and a cyber-security framework to protect data transmissions.
Aluminium alloy or stainless steel coaches
According to MRVC, the coaches' bodies will be constructed using aluminium alloy or stainless steel, ensuring a design life of 35 years. The trains will also be equipped with automatic door closing systems with obstacle detection features and a smart air-conditioning system to ensure climatic comfort for passengers. Moreover, the inclusion of digital destination boards, dynamic route maps, and a door opening indication system will facilitate a seamless travel experience.
"The first Vande Bharat local train, a prototype rake, is expected to arrive in the city by March 2026. Following the completion of relevant trials, the trains will be introduced into regular service, revolutionizing the suburban train travel experience for Mumbai commuters. With improved speed, comfort, and passenger-friendly features, these Vande Bharat trains will contribute to a more efficient and enjoyable daily commute," said an official.
Two maintenance depots
The two maintenance depots, already approved under MUTP III & 3A, will be set up by the technology partner at Vangaon (WR) and Bhivpuri (CR).
These trains will be manufactured by the technology partner, ensuring compliance with the Make in India guidelines of DPIIT.
A single class of coaches will be implemented, eliminating the first or second-class arrangement seen in existing Non-AC Locals.
Separate AC Vendor/Luggage compartments will be provided at both ends of the train. However, the luggage compartment will be segregated from the AC air circulation vents to prevent inconveniences caused by odors, such as fish, to commuters in other coaches.
Modular ergonomically cushioned seats will be provided for passenger comfort.
Coaches will be designated for ladies, passengers with disabilities, senior citizens, etc., following the existing arrangement.
Infotainment features, including news, weather updates, videos, advertisements, and important messages, will be available for passengers through large digital display panels. A dynamic route map, indicating enroute stations, destinations, real-time clock, door opening side, etc., will also be provided.
Digital destination boards will be installed on both sides of the car, in addition to the front and rear of the train.
An emergency egress system will be implemented for passenger safety.
Salient features of proposed Vande Bharat type local trains
Automatic Fire detection and alarm system.
Provision of wider inter-Car Gangway with through connectivity of the Rake.
Higher regenerative braking resulting in energy cost saving.
Design incorporates modern aesthetic approach for passenger comfort, safety, security, and noise reduction.
Higher power, speed, acceleration, and deceleration compared to existing rakes.
Major equipment mounted underslung or on the roof for higher floor area utilization.
State-of-the-art traction technology for higher energy efficiency.
Windows and doors designed for good outside visibility, including station information.
Ergonomically designed and aesthetically pleasing interiors.
Backup batteries for emergency loads.
Microprocessor-based fault diagnostics system and Event Recorder.
Air springs in the secondary Suspension of bogies for improved riding comfort.
Maximum Operational Speed of 130 kmph.
Coach body made of Aluminum Alloy or Stainless Steel with a design life of 35 years.
Automatic Door Closing System with obstacle detection feature.
Smart Air-conditioning System ensuring climatic comfort performance.
Lateral seating arrangement (3+3) following the existing pattern.
Passenger seating and standing capacity not less than existing rakes.
CCTV and Emergency Talk Back system in all coaches.
Cyber Security framework to maintain data transmission integrity.
Modular ergonomically cushioned seats.
Infotainment system with news, weather, videos, advertisements, important messages on large digital display panels.
Dynamic route map indication for Enroute stations, destinations, real-time clock, door opening side, etc.
Digital destination boards on both sides of the car, in addition to front and rear of the train.
USB ports for mobile/laptop charging in passenger saloon area.
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