Mumbai: This month, the suburban railway will break the 100kmph speed barrier for the first time in its history.
Although voices are being raised in city's railway circles whether the train can be allowed to run at such high speed given the closeness of stations within the city limits, the first train is being readied at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai and will be brought to Mumbai by month-end.
"The 102nd train is already in Mumbai and the 105th, which is being manufactured, is likely to be the city's first hi-speed train. While a few of its coaches are ready, the entire train should be ready and should be in city by October end or early November," said PC Sehgal, managing director of the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC).
The new train is being procured under the Rs4,500-crore Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), funded by World Bank and coordinated by the MRVC.
While the train will be similar to the existing ones, its high-speed bogie (wheel sets) will make all the difference. The bogies frames and technology has been bought from Siemens Australia.
A senior railway official said, "It has taken the railways six years to study and design the new train bogie. We are making a limited number of them and city should get just four to five of such trains which will be divided between Central and Western Railways."
Officials said the train could achieve high-speeds on longer journeys beyond Kalyan, and in a few months when they start the run to Dahanu.
Officials said it is the track condition that allows higher speeds. In today's context, the new high-speed train can achieve a speed of 110kmph on suburban local track and a speed of 130kmph on the track beyond Virar and Kalyan.
"Once the new train arrives, it will be subjected to heavy trials and oscillation tests. We will be loading them with sacks of sand to match the weight of a crowded train," he added.
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