There’s bad news for Mumbaikars. The grand plans by the railways to bring in the first-ever air-conditioned local train to Mumbai by December for trials has fizzled out. The rake is now expected to be complete only by February and dispatching it to Mumbai might take another week or two beyond that. This means that the air-conditioned local will not be commissioned for public service in this financial year, that is before March 31, 2016.
Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) which is constructing the rake. Replying to a DNA query, AK Agarwal, general manager of the ICF said that BHEL — which is building the train’s electrical systems and train management mechanism in partnership with Strukton Netherlands — would be able to complete testing its systems only by the end of January.
Senior officials said that the construction of the rake had also fallen behind schedule because of the late arrival of the air-conditioning units. Out of the 24 Roof-Mounted Packaging Units (RMPU) — railway lingo for ACs — required for the train, just a few have arrived, said officials.
“Unless the railway ministry intervenes and speeds up the entire process of trials, the air-conditioned train will continue to get delayed,” said a top railway official.