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Trains now double quick!

Friday, August 12, 2011
By Priyal Dave

Suburban and long-distance trains will run on AC traction from October as WR will finally complete conversion work

Very soon, both suburban and long distance passengers travelling on the Mumbai division of the Western Railway (WR) will experience faster movement of trains, and subsequently a reduction in travelling time. For suburban commuters, there will be more space inside some of the old DC-AC rakes as these will be retrofitted to pure AC rakes, which can then run on any section of the suburban railway, as from October, all trains on Mumbai division will run on 25,000 kv AC traction, confirmed sources within the WR administration.

While an official date is yet to be finalised, it is learnt that the month of October this year will be historic one, as from then WR will be in sync with the rest of the vast Indian Railway (IR) network which runs trains on AC (alternating current) traction, except Central Railway (CR).

In doing so, WR will not only connect itself seamlessly with other zonal railways, but also bid farewell to 1500 v DC traction, which was first started on the suburban section between Colaba and Borivli on January 5, 1928. The IR started switching over to 25,000 kv AC traction from 1957, after extensive research and trails of the same were conducted in the European countries, especially the French Railways.

For commuters, the completion of this project means more trains, which are faster as well as superior when compared to the old rakes. For long distance passengers, the wait at Valsad and Baroda, where locomotives are changed so that they can run beyond Borivli up to Bandra and Mumbai Central on
DC traction, will be over. For theadministration, the line capacity will increase, giving it space to run more trains.
In 2009, the division had completed the conversion work between Virar and Borivli, and since then it has been working on the conversion between Borivli and Churchgate.
When asked about the development, Sharat Chandrayan, Chief Public Relations Officer, WR said that the work will be completed soon.

AC traction to bring relief

  • Suburban system to get more reliable in terms of technology. Not only will there be more trains but faster and superior as well
  • Concentration of maintenance on one kind of traction rather than two, thereby saving time and increasing efficiency
  • Remaining DC rakes to be retrofitted to pure AC which means that passengers will get more space inside the local
  • Time to be saved as no change in locomotives of passenger trains to take place at Valsad and Baroda as the train running on AC traction can be directly brought up to Mumbai Central. This will also increase line capacity by freeing up railway track.

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