Today morning I had an opportunity to travel by the MRVC rake from Dadar to
Borivali. This post contains two sections. One is the trip report & other is the
review of the rake. The trip report first:
While I was standing in the queue for purchasing an MST at DDR, I saw one
MRVC rake going towards Churchgate. I decided that I will travel by that rake under
any circumstances. After 15 minutes, I got my MST & proceeded to platform 3.
I waited at the Churchgate end which gives a clear view of tracks right upto
At last, the rake arrived as the 12.08 Virar fast. There was some rush to board
the train, but the train was pretty empty. I boarded a motor coach 107 B
005. The train accelerated quickly from Dadar and reached 70 kph. After coasting
for sometime, it was time to slowdown for the Mahim Permanent Speed Restriction of 50 kph. After
negotiating the SR, I was very lucky. A DC EMU had just started from Mahim &
was at about the same speed as my train. So, I was lucky enough to witness a
“race” between a DC EMU & MRVC EMU in my first journey aboard the MRVC EMU.
And man, how the MRVC rake accelerates! One can easily get the impression
that the DC EMU is coasting (or even braking), whereas, actually it also is
After negotiating the Bandra – Khar road SR of 60, we were doing 75-80 in no
time. But, we slowed down again. This business of accelerate-brake continued
right till BVI. Karnavati express crossed my train just after Andheri. We
were made to crawl at each and every level crossing between ADH & BVI. But,
thanks to the superb acceleration of the rake, no time was lost between BVI
outer & Dadar, despite of 10-15 slowdowns. The train was held up at BVI
outer for about 2 minutes for apparently no reason at all. Finally, it
reached Borivali at 12.42 instead of 12.36. I alighted and proceeded towards
Now, the second part, i.e. review of the rake.
1. Excellent acceleration. It is better than the acceleration of any other EMU.
2. No compressor noise in motorcoach. I couldn’t notice compressor
switching on and off even once. It is very silent.
3. Fans & ventilation system is good. But, I could not guage the
effectiveness of ventilation system because of the thin crowd. Fans are very effective.
4. Announcements regarding next station are audible, sound quality is
significantly better than other WR rakes.
5. No problem regarding legroom in second class.
6. Ride quality is good.
1. Fit and finish not good.
2. Spacing of bars of luggage racks will make it difficult to place
small items like umbrellas. Even carry bags which contain thin objects (like
a notebook or a file) will have to be placed perpendicular to the sidewall.
3. No stickers on the exterior please. They should understand that any
sticker will not survive the crowds of Mumbai. Orange strip above the doors
has gone missing. “Western Railway” reads as “Western Railwa” at some
places. The roman numbers near the doors indicating first class or second
class have disappeared. Markings indicating that a particular coach is a
ladies only coach have disappeared.
4. WR is neglecting the passenger amenities inside the rake. I found
that many screws were missing. The cover glass of one of the tubelights was
loose. Tube covers had gathered dust from the inside.
5. Destination displays in driving cabs are a problem in direct sun
light. Millenium style cab has the displays very very close to glass, but
this rake has them a bit inside. While the rake departed from BVI, direct
sunlight was falling on the rear cab. I could not read what the displays
6. Just as I was going to post some words of appreciation about the paint
quality, there came a shocker. Today evening I saw the violet paint of coach
107 A 001 peeling off at one place. The place is not accessible to commuters
in the door, so there is very less chance of this being the handiwork of
miscreants. Secondly, WR has touched up the paint at many places. Why should
touch up be needed barely a month after the rakes were introduced?
The display boards inside coaches have a different way of functioning.
Unlike millenium rake which continuously displays the next station, MRVC
rake has scrolling display of next station and final destination, which
comes on intermittently. When the train nears a particular station, the
station name is continuously displayed on the LED panel. This is NOT a
negative point, I am just pointing out the difference between two systems.
So, my verdict would be: Siemens has done its job almost to perfection. The electricals, electronics appear to be very good. Design of second class is good, but not perfect. Legroom issue single
handedly makes the first class horrible. The usual ICF issue of poor fit and
finish exists. Just on Friday night I had traveled by CR’s new Jessop rake
(number 364), so it was natural that I will compare MRVC & new Jessop. While
MRVC rake is obviously better than 364 technically (due to it being AC/DC)
and better looking also, the interior of Jessop rake is more practical than