AC local arrival on WR delayed till February

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

Kolkata Metro to get automatic signalling system

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi Friday announced that the Kolkata Metro and the suburban system will get new automatic signalling systems and all the old trains of both systems will be changed soon.

“We will introduce TPWS (Train Protection and Warning System) in the Kolkata Metro by March-April. This system enables the train to stop automatically when there is a red light even if the driver fails to stop the train,” Trivedi told reporters.

“The Kolkata Metro will have all new rakes by the middle of this year, except a few rakes which can be refurbished. All the rakes have outlived their span,” he said.

The minister said most of the new Metro rakes will be air conditioned. “We want all the rakes to look bright, new and modern… All the rakes have outlived their utility,” he said.

Trivedi also lauded Kolkata’s sub-urban train system for surpassing the Mumbai suburban train system in terms of punctuality.

“We want to change all the rakes of suburban trains also. The suburban trains have surpassed the punctuality of Mumbai. In Mumbai, it is 96 percent. Here it is 99 percent,” said Trivedi.

However, the minister said the emphasis was more on safety than punctuality. “And 100 percent safety can only come once we automate the system. We need to modernize the entire suburban system,” he said.

Trivedi said a coordination committee has been formed to oversee the progress of the announced projects in West Bengal. (IANS)

Published in: on February 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Delhi-style makeover for Kolkata Metro

The Metro will soon undergo one of its biggest transformations. By March 2011, the old, fault-ridden gates will be chucked and new Delhistyle radio frequency controlled gates will be in. Say good-bye, also, to magnetic paper tickets and hello to tokens.

What’s better, trains will run at five minute intervals during peak hours. The growing passenger pressure has necessitated the drastic changes, officials say.

“We plan to introduce a new gating system by March 31 next year. The existing turnstiles will be replaced by flap gates. Presently, there are 211 gates but the new system will have 280 in 23 Metro stations. The technology behind the flap gates is called ‘radio frequency identification’ while the existing ones work on magnetic recognition. The tickets will also give way to reusable tokens. The Delhi Metro runs on this system,” said chief operations manager of Metro Rail, Surajit Kumar Das, on Friday.

The current system allows 33 to 35 passengers to enter the station through the turnstiles per minute. The flap-gate system will allow 45 to 60 people in 60 seconds. “The passenger handling capacity will increase by 50%,” Das added. “This will ensure smooth passenger movement over the next five years. The next upgrade will happen thereafter.”

The Metro expects to decrease the gaps in peak hours (9am to 11 am, 5pm to 7pm) from six minutes to five minutes. “Over a period of one hour, the frequency of trains will increase. There will be four additional pairs of trains in the morning and evening,” Das said. The ultimate aim is to reduce the gap to four minutes.

The gates have been posing problems over the past year. Several gates don’t work and passengers face trouble while entering and exiting the platform despite valid tickets. The situation is such that passengers are often allowed free entry and exit leading to loss of revenue for the Metro Railway.

Published in: on December 11, 2010 at 11:08 am  Comments (1)