Starting Wednesday, 12 new air-conditioned suburban trains will be added to the existing local fleet of Central Railways on the Harbour line. Reportedly, these additional services will ply along Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Panvel railway station route. According to the General Manager of Central Railways, the first AC train service will start from Vashi to CMST, in the morning.
Each additional train to cover 12 rounds everyday
As per a senior official, while the authorities have decided to operate three AC local trains during peak hours in the morning and evening, each train is likely to cover twelve rounds in a day. Additionally, this luxury commute will be replaced by non-ac trains on Sundays and public holidays. As per the officials, there is a provision to increase this service or even operate it on holidays in case of an increase in the demand.
Notably, while the Central Railway introduced the first AC local train on the trans-harbour railway line in January 2020, the services were later suspended owing to the COVID-mandated guidelines. As of now, 26 AC local train services are functional on the Central Railway mainline between CSMT-Kalyan and trans-harbour railway line between Thane and Vashi corridor. According to the reports, around 3000 travellers take the AC local train every day.
Steps to increase patronage of trains
In an attempt to increase the patronage of trains, the railway ministry is planning on reducing the ticket price of AC local trains as well. Going by the reports, the fare of the AC local train is expected to be on par with the price of metro rail tickets. Further, facilitating seamless travel for the passengers, the railways have decided to extend their suburban train services from CSMT-Andheri to CSMT-Goregaon now. As per the officials, the existing fleet of 44 local trains operational on this route will be extended till Goregaon, furthering better connectivity between Navi Mumbai and Mumbai.