One new Train, 6 million dreams

There was a good article about the rakes today in Hindustan Times as a part of their series called “Mumbai Project”. Some excerpts:

Mumbai and its surrounding areas have a growing urban population of 18 million. The suburban rail system, the city’s lifeline, carries six million passengers every day in rickety coaches. The design of these coaches has remained largely unchanged since the first Indian electric train pulled out of Victoria Terminus, now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, on February 3, 1925.

“In Mumbai’s trains, we cannot have a traditional air-conditioner as the doors cannot be closed. So, we’ve engineered high-powered blowers into the design. The ‘forced ventilation’ technique will help decrease carbon dioxide levels inside the packed trains,” said Dr. P.C. Sehgal, managing director of Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation, which is coordinating the entire transport project.

The blowers pump in 14,535 cubic metres of fresh air into each coach every hour.

Mumbai’s railway is a far cry from the sophistication of Japan’s or the simple efficiency of Oslo.

Now, even Delhi is outpacing Mumbai.

A city that launched electric trains in 1925, now forces trains coming in from the rest of India to switch to older locomotives. “Mumbai struggled so hard with its rush-hour problems, that it never got around to upgrading its technology,” said G.K. Rai, a retired rail engineer. “Our old technology also doesn’t allow us to introduce new services, thus limiting carrying capacity.”

The buck stops here

AK Jhingron, General manager, Central and Western Railway

‘The new trains were supposed to come earlier’

This is the first time that such high-end trains have been made in India. The railways been coordinating with over 20 governmental and other organisations, including many outside the country, to get the trains. The coordination is important to work things faster.

When will all 157 trains be operational?
In three years. Once mass production of the trains begins, there will be no looking back.

Read the entire article here.


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