Date of Post: 13 Feb, 2019
Central Railway (CR) is hopeful to start conducting trial runs of EMU rakes on Mumbai-Pune and Mumbai-Nashik routes from next month, officials said. The trials will be conducted to gauge the feasibility to operate these rakes as full-fledged local trains on these sections which include steep gradients, they said.
- A CR official said,”The trial run will witness many a firsts in the entire Indian railway network. For the first time, the EMU (Electrical Multiple Unit) rakes will be passing through the long-terrain of steep gradient in ghat sections.”
- Though Mumbai division of CR has received a rake from Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, they need some technical and software modification, he said.
- The official said,”All these modifications are being carried out in one of the car sheds in Mumbai. When they get completed, the trials will start.”
- At least one month is needed to complete this work which include obtaining safety approvals for operating the rakes in ghat sections, he said.
- He added,”Considering these factors, the trial runs could start only by fag end of March.”
- While Mumbai-Nasik section includes hilly terrain of 16 kms from Kasara to Igatpuri, on Mumbai to Pune route the ghat section stretches from Karjat to Lonavala covering several hills and mountains upto 28 kms.
- Once the trials in ghat sections pass off without hiccups then the rakes fitted with automatic door closure system and lavatories will start plying between Kalyan and Nashik Road and Kalyan and Pune stations, another official said.
- He said that the RDSO (Research Designs and Standards Organisation), has observed that suburban services can be operated to Nashik, if proper and extensive steps are taken to ensure safety of the passengers while train passes through ghat sections.
- He said,”We think Railways would need special train sets to operate services in these sections as the current EMU rakes may not be fit for the trial runs. We may need a banker attached with the rake permanently besides operating these local trains upto 200 kms could be another challenge.”
- A banker is a locomotive that assists in hauling a train up a steep gradient.
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