With new coaches being introduced, people who commute in suburban trains, better known as 'locals' in Mumbai will finally experience a better, faster and more comfortable ride.
The new trains will run at a speed of 70-80 kilometers per hour between Churchgate and Borivli, and go up to 105 kilometers per hour on the Borivli-Virar-Dahanu stretch. This will reduce travel time significantly, and will result in more journeys through the day, with lesser waiting time between trains.
The suburban rail in Mumbai is one of the world's most crowded railway systems, and acts as the city's lifeline. During peak hours, one train carries close to 6,000 commuters, and more than 7.5 million commuters use local trains daily in the city.
The new coaches had arrived in Mumbai in October last year, and have undergone trials and tests since. Getting the required clearances resulted in a marginal delay in putting these trains into service.
At 11:32 this morning, the first Bombardier train rolled out of Churchgate station. Among the feature that have seen a marked improvement are the new seats, and new holding bars including those near the doors. The new coaches have comparatively more space than the current ones, especially between seats. This may help commuters during peak hours.
Jimit Pandya from Bombardier told NDTV, "These rakes have a lot of built in redundancies so the failure rates will be less. The auxiliary supply system will ensure that ventilation will not be cut off when the train passes through a neutral section. The ventilation and fans will continue to function."
Swati Sarkar, a student from Wilson college who took the train told NDTV, "These compartments have better seats. The fans and ventilation is good and they are definitely more spacious."
While two rakes have been pressed into service on Wednesday, more are expected to join the fleet in phases, by the end of this year.
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