The Central Railway, after months of static trials, has officially given up on Mumbai’s first air-conditioned local.
In a letter written to the Railway Board, the Central Railway has said that it will not be possible for it to run the local because of the presence of a series of bridges between Kurla and CST that are too low to let the AC local pass. The AC local is a few inches taller than the other locals currently running in Mumbai.
The Railway Board in turn has now written to the Western Railway, asking it to take charge of the AC rake. The Western Railway has also been asked to identify a stretch on which the AC local could be deployed.
While earlier, when the AC train was first proposed for Mumbai, there was a race between the Central Railway and the Western Railway to run it. Months later, it seems both don’t want it.
However, on the night of March 16, 2016, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced that the Central Railway (CR) would get the AC train, upsetting Western Railway users who, after a long wait, had hoped for a cool commute. Confirming that the AC local is now back in Western Railway’s lap, Chief Public Relation Officer Ravinder Bhakar said: “The Central Railway proposed to the Railway Board that the AC local should be transferred to the Western Railway. The Railway Board has now asked us to identify the sections where this AC EMU rake can be run.”
I am appalled at the poor planning & execution of this project. In spite of so many delays, they have royally messed up the whole thing. In this era when India has reached Mars, the railways cannot even ensure they build a rake in sync with the dimensions of the section where it will be used? How difficult is it? The gimmicky Rail Vikas Shivirs are of no use if IR displays such low levels of technical proficiency. The saddest part is that these mistakes are being repeated in every new project.