Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Railway board forces CR's hand, directs it to increase 15-car rakes-[some good news atlast]

MUMBAI: The railway board has asked Central Railway and Western Railway to prepare an action plan for the introduction of more 15-car services to check accidents caused by overcrowding.

The board has sent across the minutes of the meeting that was held between the railway minister and members of Parliament soon after a video of a youth falling from a running train on CR went viral.

Asenior official said, "The minutes of the meeting state that an action plan has to be prepared by CR and WR. It is going to be a challenge, but since the instruction is from the minister, we will have to work a way out of this mess."

A source said the board wants the action plan to upgrade at least 50% of fast corridor services to 15-car rakes. CR and WR run 16 and 30 services of 15-car rakes. CR operates services between CST and Kalyan on the fast corridor. On WR, unlike its 12car services, 15-car rakes do not halt at Grant Road, Charni Road and Marine Lines.

CR had earlier said that there are no short-term mea sures to prevent accidents on tracks. It had also ruled out the introduction of more 15car services on the fast corridor north of Kalyan because of inadequate platform length.

Also, since 15-car trains have a 90 kmph speed limit as against 100 kmph for 12-car ones, CR is of the opinion that reduced speed may lead to cancellation of some services. During problems on the fast corridor, it will be difficult to divert and operated a 15-car train on the slow corridor.

WR has already made provisions to introduce 15-car services by replacing one 12car rake.

The minutes of the meeting also state that the introduction of Metro-type seating arrangement will be examined. An official said, "We can experiment with longitudinal as well as 2x2 seating arrangement in some compartments in a couple of rakes to gauge public response."

Meanwhile, CR is considering to allow suburban ticket holders to travel by long-distance trains like Mahalaxmi Express, Devagiri Express and Latur Express from Kalyan in sleeper class.