Mumbai: Western Railway (WR) authorities are all set to launch a fully vestibule, air-conditioned underslung motor local train, with most hurdles for its introduction being cleared. The Railway Board issued a letter in this regard on Dec 5, permitting the zonal railways to use the train which has been lying at the Mumbai Central car shed in almost ready condition. The board also suggested a few modifications for future AC rakes of this type.
“After its introduction, the production of eight more trains will be started and they is likely to be completed in one year,” said an Indian Railways official. At present, Mumbai has 13 AC local trains, including six with Central Railway and seven with WR.
“Vigilance control device (VCD) has not been provided in the driver's cab. It may be provided in the future rakes and retrofitted in the existing ones to enhance safety. Apart from that, a voice logger can be provided with the emergency talk back unit for communication between driver and guard, with a provision to record for at least one hour,” stated the letter.
It further read that emergency ladders provided for de-training of passengers in case of emergency are almost one foot inside the floor, making them unsuitable for disembarking from the train, especially by elderly persons and children. “This too needs to be tackled in future rakes of this model,” it said.
This will be the first fully vestibule local train of the country. It is built on the lines of semi-high-speed Train 18 (Vande Bharat Express) . The first-of-its-kind underslung motor-equipped local train will provide a hassle-free ride to commuters. In existing AC local trains only six coaches connect internally, while the new one has all 12 coaches are internally connected.
“On experimental basis, one coach (9th from Churchgate end) of this AC local is equipped with flexible lightweight solar panels that are capable of generating 3.6KW of electricity which will be used for powering all lights and fans in the train,” said a senior railway official.
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