In a move that may irk a section of commuters, the Western Railway (WR) has started running some Gujarat-bound passenger trains from Virar near here without the first class coaches from Tuesday.
In these trains the general class coaches have replaced the first class coaches, said a senior officer.
According to a statement, train No 59045/59046 Bandra (T)-Vapi Passenger, 59037/59038 Virar-Surat Passenger, 59039/59040 Vapi-Virar Passenger, 59047/59048 Virar-Surat Passenger, 59043/59044 Virar-Dahanu Passenger and 59009/59010 Virar-Bharuch Passenger would not have first class coaches.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO of WR, said, “Railways have stopped augmenting (manufacturing and putting into service) the first class coaches since 1990, and the coaches which have been removed from the passenger trains were made much before that.
“Now these coaches have gone beyond repairing condition, so we had to remove them,” he said, adding that first class coaches haven’t been removed from all the trains on these routes, and season ticket holders can optimise their ticket till their validity.
Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee member of Mumbai Division of WR, Rajiv Singal, said this was expected. “There was demand from the public to remove the first class coaches from the trains and introduce AC trains instead,” he said.
“So I don’t see any harm for first class passengers as they spend four times the second-class fare but do not get proper amenities,” he added.