I have been following the news about MRVC rakes right from my pre-IRFCA days
and here are my observations:
Initially, the first of 157 rakes was supposed to arrive in the latter half
of 2006. Since then onwards, every time the authorities say that the rakes
will arrive in two more months. I got a new definition of “two months”
because the first rake arrived after not two, but twelve months (or more).
After the first rake arrived, it was said that first five rakes will be in
service by December 2007. Today, its 16th February 2008 and only three rakes
are in service and the fourth is nearing the end of its trials.
It was also said that the production will be stepped up to 4-5 rakes per
month. Currently, one rake is produced every 45-50 days.
AT the end of december 2007, a statement was made that by March, there will
be 5 MRVC rakes with CR. More than half of February is over, but there is
only one rake with CR.
In the last month, a statement was made on the forum that the production
will be stepped up to 4 rakes per month “in the near future”. Well, the
problem is that I have been hearing this statement for many months, but
nobody is ready to say exactly when that “near future” will finally arrive.
Now, with so many delays, one would at least expect that the quality (NOT
design) of the rakes is top notch. But no! The quality is deteriorating.
After seeing the allotted to CR, i think that
the rakes which WR has got are much better than CR (WR rakes are better than
CR does not mean that they are of good quality, they too are not up to the mark). We have broken window locks, tubelight covers dangling in mid
air, missing screws, loose pieces of metal and more just after the rakes have
barely completed three months of service on WR.
In this state of things, I wonder when will the rest of the rakes arrive and
when will Mumbai get converted to AC, because the largest factor slowing
down the conversion to AC is lack of AC/DC rakes.
Just a statistic: To meet a deadline of December 2009 for 170 more rakes
(out of 174, 4 are already out), 7-8 rakes would have to be produced per
month. To meet a deadline of December 2010 (which is the latest deadline I
think), 5 rakes would have to be produced per month. Now, it is evident that
the 2010 deadline also will be overshot because there are plans of producing
only four rakes per month, that too “in the near future”, whereas the 5
rakes per month requirement has been calculated assuming that they start
production at that speed right now.