Teething issues of Bombardier rakes in rain

Bombardier rakes seem to be having some teething issues in rainy weather. Here are 2 reports from Mumbai Mirror:


The first proper showers to lash the city on Saturday brought with it 130 train cancellations and 200 delays along both the Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR), thereby reminding us that the rains could still hold the city’s much-needed train services to ransom.

Five of the newly procured trains of Bombardier make came to an abrupt halt with the first showers. All of them were stuck on the tracks between 8 am and 1pm, resulting in disrupted and cancellation of about 80 train services. According to WR officials, power tripping in the concerned sections, which the Bombardier rakes are not equipped to handle, was the culprit.

An official explained, “The converter module of Bombardier trains is very stringent and any issue of power-tripping renders it dysfunctional.”

Three of these Bombardier trains were rectified at the spot and were allowed to go ahead. But a Churchgatebound ladies special train and another Virar-Churchgate fast local were cancelled and had to be pulled to the car shed using a diesel engine.

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A day after the season’s first spell of showers brought eight Bombardier rakes to a grinding halt, crippling services on the Western Railway, authorities on Sunday claimed to have fixed the problem. Minor fluctuations in power supply shut down the state-of-the-art rakes on Saturday, leading to cancellation of 80 services between Churchgate and Borivali, once again triggering fears of nightmarish commute in the coming months.

Commuters said they won’t feel assured until the claims are proved. WR currently has a fleet of 39 Bombardier rakes and will acquire an additional 33 trains, each costing about Rs 40 crore, from Germany. Nearly 34 lakh people use WR’s network daily.

WR officials said the hi-tech trains respond to minor variations in current and resistance by tripping the power supply. Once it happens thrice on the trot, there is no way the motorman can switch on the power system. It has to be hauled to the car shed.

Shailesh Gupta, additional divisional railway manager of WR’s Mumbai Central unit, said a team of 25 engineers worked round-theclock to fix the glitch. “We have upgraded the software the Bombardier rakes are ready to run during rains.”

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