Concerned over thousands of commuters dying every year due to falling off the suburban trains in Mumbai, the railways has proposed to introduce for the first time Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) rakes with closed-door system controlled by motormen or the guard.
Though these new series of coaches will not be air-conditioned, they will have better ventilation compared to the existing rakes. The doors will be operated either by the guard or motormen according to the stoppage timing at each station. The train will not ply till all the doors are closed.
A senior railway official said, “The electrical directorate of the Indian Railways has already asked the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation to consider introducing such rakes on the city’s suburban system.” No AC but better ventilation in new coaches
The Indian Railway’s Research Design and Standards Organization is in the process of formulating specifications for these rakes. The MRVC will float the tenders after the specifications are approved by the railway board,” he added.
As of now, automatic door close system exists in air-conditioned Metro trains though Kolkata Metro also operates rakes which are not air-conditioned. To begin with, the MRVC plans to introduce twelve 12-car rakes with automatic door closing system.
Till now, the electrical system of MRVC rakes were procured from transportation majors like Siemens and Bombardier, while the shell of the rake was manufactured at Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai.
Confirming the development, MRVC managing director Rakesh Saksena said, “The closed door system will bring down the number of fatalities due to falling down from the train. Everything else, including the seating arrangements will remain the same.”
The cost of procuring these new rakes is yet to be worked out. Asked for the funding pattern, an official explained, “Central Railway is likely to switch to 25 KV AC current from 1500 Volt-Direct Current (DC) in a couple of years. The DC compatible rakes will then become redundant on CR’s main line. These can then be use on Harbour line, while main line can be adequately compensated once pure AC compatible rakes begin to roll out in coming months for which orders have been placed by MRVC.”
The official said, “Instead of spending money on buying DC coaches, we will use this fund to buy new ones that will have automatic door closing system. We will be able to purchase around 153 coaches that will allow us to make a formation of twelve rakes of 12 coaches. The balance nine coaches can be used as a replacement if some of the coaches are set aside for maintenance.”
OPENING NEW DOORS
Advantage Prevent fatalities as people will not be able to travel on foot board
Acts of vandalism can be prevented as access to the coaches will blocked when trains are in the yard
The closed doors will stop people from spitting Features The doors will be operated by the guard or motormen
Train will not ply till all doors are closed
Advanced technology will be installed for better ventilation
The new rakes are expected to arrive by 2016.