The Western zone of Indian Railways has requested the commissioner of railway safety to allow it to operate Bombardier rakes at a speed of 90 km per hour instead of 70 km per hour.
Punctuality of Mumbai locals: In an attempt to maintain punctuality of suburban train services as well as to squeeze in a few more railway services, the Western zone of Indian Railways has requested the commissioner of railway safety to allow it to operate Bombardier rakes at a speed of 90 km per hour instead of 70 km per hour, according to a TOI report. A senior Western Railway official was quoted in the report saying that as work on the signal upgrade is almost complete, the railways have sent the proposal to relax the speed limit of Bombardier rakes to 90 km per hour.
Interestingly, the Western Railway is also modifying the existing signalling system from three lights, green, yellow and red to four lights, green, double yellow, yellow and red. So, far, signals at 86 locations along the western railway line route have been upgraded, the report stated. Under the three-signal system, when the signal turned from green to yellow, trains would have to reduce speed from 60-50 km per hour to 38 km per hour and when the signal turned red, the trains would have to come to a halt.
Since there are fewer halts in fast trains, there is no frequent acceleration and deceleration. But on the other hand, if there are no signals on the slow line, a motorman can hit a maximum speed of 50-60 km per hour. The Western Railway runs train services on the slow corridor at an average speed of 38 km per hour.
There are 63 Bombardier rakes at the Western Railway that can run at a maximum speed of 110 km per hour. The Bombardier rakes were introduced in March 2015. The rakes were introduced with a condition that the speed would not exceed 70 km per hour on the Churchgate-Borivli fast corridor.
According to another railway official who was quoted in the report, if the commissioner of railway safety increases the speed limit from 70 km per hour to 90 km per hour, trains will be able to recover time lost due to minor disruptions.