If reports are to be believed, the first air-conditioned (AC) suburban local train on the Central Railway (CR) is likely to run on the Harbour line.
According to the Hindustan Times, the AC suburban local train will likely run between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Goregaon stations on CR's Harbour line. Currently, CR is examining its tracks on the Harbour line and inspecting the height of old bridges. After conducting trials, the trains will also be introduced between CSMT and Panvel on Harbour line.
A senior CR official told the leading daily, “The train is a success on WR, and that is why we are first planning to introduce it between CSMT and Goregaon. Trains will be introduced after tracks are inspected and trials are conducted.” The Central and Harbour railway's height of bridges has been an issue for the operation of AC trains as the rakes are taller than regular suburban trains. CR had earlier written to the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, manufacturing AC trains for Mumbai, to consider the problem. The CR also plans to operate AC trains on its mainline, between CSMT and Kalyan stations.
At present AC local trains are currently operational only on Western Railway (WR), between Churchgate and Virar stations. The AC local service commenced in December 2017. Equipped with new features, the train is aimed at ensuring a safer and more comfortable journey for passengers. The coaches will come equipped with automatic door closure systems, LED-based lighting, LED-based coach identification systems (for alarm chain pulling and door malfunctioning) and emergency talk-back systems. The train will not start or take traction if any of the doors are open.