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Mumbai: For the first time, the Central Railway will be running ten air-conditioned local train services on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Kalyan route from December 17, replacing the ordinary suburban services. The railway officials said that passengers as permitted by the Ministry of Railways and Maharashtra government are only allowed to travel in the AC local trains.

“Of the 10 AC local services, two will be operated between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) (in Mumbai) and Kalyan (in neighbouring Thane), four between CSMT and Dombivli (Thane) and four between CSMT and Kurla,” he said.

The first AC local service on the main line will commence from Kurla for CSMT at 5.42 am, while the last AC local will depart from CSMT for Kurla at 11.25 pm, it said.

"These train services will run with air-conditioned rates from Monday to Saturday and will halt at all stations. Passengers as permitted by the Ministry of Railways and Maharashtra government are only allowed to travel in them," CR's chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said.

CR was operating AC local train services on its Thane-Vashi/Panvel trans-harbour line before the coronavirus-enforced lockdown came into force in March this year.

Currently, only staff of the essential and emergency services and those authorised by the government are allowed to travel in local trains, which is the lifeline of Mumbai. The local services resumed operations in June.

Explaining the rationale behind starting the AC locals on the mainline, an official said though 90 per cent suburban trains were back on track, long-distance train services were not yet running at full strength. "We now have the margin to run additional AC trains without antagonising regular train commuters."

The fare for the air-conditioned train will be 1.3 times the fare for first class travel. The minimum fare will be Rs 65 and the maximum Rs 220 for a single-ticket journey. However, the decision on running air-conditioned trains on the harbour line will be taken at a later stage.

The CR used to operate 16 AC local services on the Thane-Vashi/Panvel trans-harbour line before the lockdown, he said.

Before the lockdown, the CR used to operate 1,774 suburban services on its main line, harbour line (CSMT to Panvel), trans-harbour line (Thane-Vashi/Panvel) and the fourth corridor between Belapur and Kharkopar. Of these, 858 services were on the main line, according to the CR.

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