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4:44 pm - Saturday April 21, 2018

Mumbai get air-conditioned local train

Agencies, Mumbai

The Indian Railways on Monday flagged off the country’s first air-conditioned suburban local train for Mumbai commuters here, almost 150 years after the first suburban local was hauled by a steam engine in 1867.

The Christmas and pre-New Year bonanza saw the first AC local’s maiden run for the media, officials, some political party activists and commuters between Borivali and Churchgate on the Western Railway this morning.

Though a public holiday, there were several hundreds of curious and wide-eyed commuters who crowded the Borivali station and other stations en route to gaze at the new wonder, which will start full- fledged operations from January 1 with 12 daily services, officials said.

According to WR chief spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar, six return services (total 12) shall be operated on the suburban sector at regular intervals on all weekdays, with Saturday-Sunday kept free for maintenance purposes.

As per current plans, of the 12 daily services, eight will be operated as ‘fast trains’ on the congested Churchgate-Virar (Palghar) sector, three between Churchgate-Borivali, both with halts only at major stations, while one will ply as a slow service halting at all stations between Mahalaxmi and Borivali.

Till Friday (December 29), the WR will operate six (three in each direction) services daily on experimental basis and introduce full 12 services from January one, New Year Day.

The WR has also announced an introductory fare to lure commuters to the new, ‘cool’ style of commuting, with the fare to be 1.2 times the cost of a first class one-way regular ticket, and later the fare will be 1.3 times.

This comes to an average minimum fare of Rs 60 and maximum of Rs 205 per single journey, and a monthly season ticket fare of between minimum Rs 570 and maximum Rs 2,070 for a commuter.

Posted in: Nation

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