In a Christmas gift to Mumbaikars, the country's first air-conditioned (AC) suburban train commenced its services, thus realising the long-awaited dream of lakhs of commuters.
According to Ravinder Bhakar, PRO, Western Railway, 12 AC local services will replace 12 non-AC services so the total number of locals on WR will remain the same, which as per record would be around 1355 services. However, from the new year, there will be eight fast services between Churchgate and Virar, three fast services between Churchgate and Borivli, and one slow service between Mahalaxmi and Borivli.
The commuters, excited at the launch of the AC local which is expected to bring them respite during the scorching summer, captured the historic moments by clicking selfies as the train reached the Churchgate station at 11.16 am.
The AC train has been categorized as a "premium train with low frequency" and the fare has been pegged at 1.3 times the prevailing first-class fare. Initially, it was meant to be run on the central line but it was later made a decision to run it first on the western line.
Unlike regular local trains, the AC service will have a special weekly and fortnightly season ticket. The minimum fare will be Rs 60 and the maximum Rs 220.
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3 fast services have been scheduled between Churchgate and Borivali, which will halt at Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra and Andheri stations, in both directions.
The monthly pass will cost between Rs 570 and Rs 820 (till Bandra) to Rs 1,240 (till Andheri) to Rs 1,640 (till Borivali), and Rs 2,040 till Virar.
Safety measures: Each coach is provided with a passenger alarm indication lights on both sides, which are integrated with alarm chain pulling system.
In case of emergencies, emergency ladders with signage inside the coach are given to facilitate evacuation of passengers.
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