Mumbai: Soon, suburban train journey will become less humid and sweaty with the railways minister planning to procure three more air-conditioned trains. The decision was spurred by the positive response to the existing AC local and the ridership crossed 10 lakh within five months of service.
In February, 2.28 lakh passengers travelled in the AC local and the number increased to 3.13 lakh in March and 3.54 lakh in April. A senior railway official said that the three additional AC trains will be procured by December 2018; they will operate on both the Western and the Central Railway. The first of these AC locals will arrive in the city by September, which will be handed over to Western Railway.
It has also been decided to start manufacture of partially air-conditioned local trains. However, a senior Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation official said, “It will take 12-15 months to manufacture these trains.” Recently, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had announced that 70 locals will be partially air-conditioned coaches. “In each train, three coaches will be partially air-conditioned. Each of these will also have a first class, a second class and a ladies’ coach. Work on swapping AC coaches with normal coaches will begin this year. However, completion of the process will take up to three years,” said a senior Railway Board official.