Good news for the 70 million or more passengers who use the Western and Central Railways. These two rail administrations will shortly enhance the number of air-conditioned (AC) services, which will undoubtedly benefit customers who prefer to travel by AC local. The WR will shortly introduce ten additional AC train services.
According to WR sources, these services will be introduced on the Churchgate-Virar line this month. ‘We are working out the timings. We will be running them in the morning and evening peak hours’, said a senior WR official.
The WR operates 28 services, including eight on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) – Goregaon Harbour line and twenty on the Mainline. The WR will increase the number of services on the Churchgate-Virar route by ten, bringing the total to thirty. These services are provided by four rakes, one of which is under maintenance, and they rotate them. According to sources, they plan to expand their services using the three AC rakes they now have. In July, they will receive one extra AC rake to add to their fleet, which will significantly relieve the situation for them and overall train operations.
Senior railway officials indicated that Mumbai will receive two new AC locals from the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, one of which will be sent to the WR and the other to the CR.
This comes at a time when AC local rates have been cut and passenger demand is on the rise. The Indian Railways have decreased the rates for daily journey tickets since May 5, which has boosted demand. As per statistics, the WR sold 9959 travel tickets between May 1 and 4. However, starting May 5, demand has increased dramatically, with 18366 daily tickets sold until May 9, nearly doubling.