Mumbai commuters get AC local trains

The singular train won’t run during weekends as was expected earlier

"The trains arev always crowded, whether morning or evening", said Democratic Youth Federation of India activist K K Prakashan, adding that with monorail, Metro and now AC trains, railways seems to be moving towards "elite modes of transport".

The service of the Western Railway was flagged off by Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde and other dignitaries on Monday.

"Out of 12 services of the AC local train, eight will run as fast local trains between Churchgate and Virar, stopping only at major stations like Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri, Borivali, Bhayander & Vasai Road in both directions", the WR statement said.

Railway officials said that the fare of the AC local train that will run between Churchgate and Virar/Dahanu fare will be 1.3 times more than the existing first-class fare for Mumbai local trains. The partial train services started from December 25, 2017, while it will go full fledged from January 1, 2018. The current single journey first class fare for Churchgate-Bandra is Rs 70, while the fare for Churchgate-Borivali and Churchgate-Virar Rs 140 and Rs 170 respectively.

With the AC Local Fast Service having fewer stops - it will halt only at Andheri, Dadar and Mumbai Central - passengers agreed that it would be safer, faster and more comfortable than travelling by vehicle.

The last technical trial run was conducted on Sunday in the presence of the senior officers. "The total average number of suburban services on WR's suburban section will remain 1355, even after introduction of AC local train", Bhakar said.

On May 5, 1992, the WR introduced the world's first Ladies Special trains which have now become a regular feature and a trendsetter for similar services in India and some other countries.

Currently, the monthly pass cost between Churchgate and Mumbai central costs ₹570. One of the services will run on the slow line between Mahalaxmi and Borivali. The fortnightly season ticket starts at Rs 430 going up to Rs 1,555 till Virar. However, passengers will be charged 1.2 times that of the first class ticket cost in the initial six months - that means the minimum cost of a single journey ticket is Rs 60 while the maximum ticket cost will be Rs 205.

With input from agencies.

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