It’s a big Christmas gift to Mumbaikars! The long-awaited dream of lakhs of commuters in Mumbai came true on Monday after the country’s first air-conditioned (AC) suburban train commenced its services in Mumbai. The train, operated by the Western Railway (WR), began its journey at 10.32 am from the Borivili station to Churchgate in South Mumbai. The commuters, excited at the launch of the AC local which is expected to bring them respite during the scorching summer, captured the historic moments by clicking selfies as the train reached the Churchgate station at 11.16 am.
Earlier, BJP MPs Kirit Somaiya, Gopal Shetty, Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde, Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar and WR General Manager Anil Kumar Gupta flagged off the train. Gupta said, “This AC local is being run through a prototype coach and we will invite feedback from commuters and incorporate it in our next fleet of coaches.”
Here is everything you need to know:-
– Built in Chennai at a cost of Rs 54 crore, the 12-car rake of the AC local arrived here on April 4, 2016. Initially, it was meant to be run on the Central Railway (CR) corridor. However, later it was decided to run it first on the WR corridor. Subsequently, the WR conducted about 65 trial runs of the train before starting its services for the public on Monday.
– According to WR Chief Public Relations Officer Ravinder Bhakar, the last successful technical run of the train, running on broad gauge, was conducted on Sunday.
– Initially, the AC local will operate only on the Churchgate-Borivili section.
– The train will make six trips daily (12 services per day) and from January 1 next year, it will run from Churchgate to Virar
– The train will not operate on Saturdays and Sundays as it requires maintenance
– 12 services of the AC train will replace the existing 12 non-AC services.
All are happy!
Mumbaikars, who took the first ride, expressed delight at the new service. Railway activists too expressed happiness at the launch of the AC train. Kailash Verma, an activist of the Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, said, “The commissioning of this train is a 0testimony that the Indian Railways is trying hard to meet the demands of the passengers. I hope that maintenance and punctuality of the trains will be monitored on priority.”