Mumbai's first AC train to run from December 25

The first Air Conditioned local train will depart on its historical introductory run from Andheri station at 14.10 hrs and will reach Churchgate station at 14.44 hrs on December 25 (Monday).

Initially, the suburban rakes had only four coaches, and were later upgraded to nine cars in 1958, but as passenger traffic increased, the WR converted all rakes to 12 cars from 1990, and introduced the first 15-car rakes - the longest suburban trains in the country, from November 2009, and the new era of airconditioned suburban travel that started on Monday. At the Churchgate end, the first and 12th coaches have been earmarked for ladies; seven seats in second and 11th coaches have been allotted to senior citizens, and 10 seats in fourth and seventh coaches have been earmarked for Divyangs (those with disabilities).

The AC train is the first rake to ply locally with automatic doors - the closed doors will prevent commuters from standing on the foot boards of the train, which is common in the city's crowded locals and which, crucially, will prevent deaths. Western Railway's chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar confirmed with Mid-Day that the train will be put in regular public service from Monday.

"The train will not operate on Saturdays and Sundays as it requires maintenance", he said, adding that the 12 services of the AC train will replace the existing 12 non-AC services. Railway officials conducted a technical run of the train on Sunday, which was successful.

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The total capacity of the rake is 5,964 passengers with 1,028 seating capacity and 4,936 standing capacity.

Santosh Konkati, 41, travelling from Ghatkopar to Borivali, had boarded the train at Dadar.

The fare of a single journey ticket of the AC rake costs 1.3 times the base fare of a first class ticket. "The fare structure would help draw elite commuters travelling in cars towards this". A Mumbai Urban Transport Plan (MUTP) surcharge and Goods and Service Tax (GST) of 5% is levied separately on the final fare. Indicatively, for the first six months, a ride from Churchgate to Dadar will cost around Rs 95, while riding all the way to Virar will cost Rs 220.

Unlike regular local trains, the AC service will have a special weekly and fortnightly season ticket.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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