Railway board has finally sanctioned the operation of Bombardier rakes on Western Railway. Letter of sanction was issued today. So after a long wait of almost 1.5 years, it has been announced that the rakes will enter passenger service starting Wednesday 18th March 2015. A copy of the letter has been uploaded here. There are a lot of conditions for the sanction.
- The sanction is valid for only 6 months. After 6 months, a fresh application for approval needs to be made.
- Speed is restricted to 70/80 km/h.
- Sanction is valid only for the first 2 rakes. Fresh application needs to me made for newer rakes
In short, there is a very high possibility of further delays due to red tape.
The pdf file contains a list of observations by CRS at the end. Some of them are totally irrelevant to the Bombardier rakes. They are generic observations that would apply to all rakes, not just Bombardier rakes. Why they find a place in CRS’s letter is beyond comprehension.
And then there are notings about bombardier rakes themselves. All of them are about build quality of these “world class” rakes. Allegedly the first class seats are very uncomfortable and narrow. A mistake that has been carried over from Siemens rakes. ICF will never improve. Quality of material used in seats needs improvement. Quality of painting of lettering and signages is very poor. That is obvious – ICF cannot even paint “WR” properly on the outside. The letters are horribly out of proportion.
Whatever it may be, I am eager to get a ride in these rakes!