In its new avatar, the air-conditioned local train is set to be one long vestibule, faster, more comfortable, equipped with cushioned seats and promises a smoother ride than those currently in operation. Specifications for the proposed 238 AC local trains have almost been finalised by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC). A Rs 20,000 crore tender for their procurement (supply of trains with life-time maintenance guarantee) will be issued in June 2022.
Confirming the development, a senior MRVC official said, “These trains will be of international standards and will be produced under the Make-in-India concept. Whoever has been awarded the tender will need to either set up a production unit in India or tie up with any other company which already has a production unit in India.”
“The AC trains currently in operation are partially vestibular - divided into two parts of six coaches each, but the new local trains will be completely vestibular, with equipment either on-roof or underslung, with proper protection from rain/ water,” said Ravi Agrawal, managing director, MRVC.
Asked about the speed of these trains, Agrawal said, “These trains will be fit for the maximum operational speed of 120 kmph, with a testing speed of 132 kmph. Currently, local trains in Mumbai have a maximum operational speed of 110 kmph, with a testing speed of 121 kmph."
The high-quality air suspension system will not only make for a more comfortable journey on the new train but also less jerky, as compared to the present trains. Apart from this, the new trains will have six motor coaches (underslung), as compared to four in the current trains, making for quicker acceleration/ deceleration.
Passenger amenities include LED travel maps, an upgraded passenger announcement system, infotainment system and bearing in mind Railways’ non-fare revenue generation initiatives, these trains will have a fixed place for advertisements in every coach. These trains will have a codal life of 35 years, five years more than currently running local trains in Mumbai.
Because of the on-roof or underslung propulsion system, these trains will have the familiar, lateral-style seating arrangement, unlike the longitudinal seating in metros, due to longer journeys.
THE NEW COOL CHECKLIST
No. of new AC trains: 238
Each train will have 12 inter-connected coaches
Tenders to be issued in June 2022
First prototype likely to reach Mumbai in 2024
Wider windows, less jerky and faster ride