Western Railway commuters will have to wait till February to board the first air-conditioned rake on the suburban line.
The electric multiple unit (EMU) was expected before June this year, but Indian Railways sources said technological challenges in manufacturing the rake at the Integral Coach Factory in Perumbur had resulted in a delay.
“This is first time that an AC rake able to run on 25 KV alternating current traction is being manufactured by the Indian Railways,” a senior railway official said. “Such delays are common in projects related to rakes that are to be fitted with new technology, be it electrical fittings, designing of shell or fitting of a bogey.”
Similar delays were seen in procuring the new Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation rakes with electrical fittings from Bombardier.
The design of the AC rake will be similar to the ones on the Kolkata metro. Coaches will have longitudinal seating. A coach will hold 400 commuters, including standees.
The 12-car rake with a vestibule design will hold 4,500 commuters and allow people to move between coaches. A decision on reserving a coach for women is yet to be taken.
The manufacturing cost of a coach is an estimated Rs 4 crore. There will be LED signs inside and outside the train, a public address system, LCD screens inside coaches, and advanced braking features.
WR plans to run up to 12 services a day with the AC EMU on the Churchgate-Borivli and Churchgate-Andheri sections.
Debt route to fund elevated corridor
Mumbai:The railways has now proposed providing financial support in the form of debt through market borrowings to the Churchgate-Virar elevated rail corridor project, which is to be a public-private partnership.
Authorities have also issued a revised ‘request for qualification’ document to attract more bidders for the Rs 22,500 crore project. The document states that to enable the concessionaire to raise debts from financial institutions, the railways is likely to provide subordinate debt equal to lower of 10% of the project cost or Rs 3,000 crore, or 75 per cent of the equity of the concessionaire. TNN