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Mumbai Local AC train: A Timeline of Delays

Mumbai Local

by Akhilesh K. Prasad

As Railways begins its first AC local services for Mumbai, let us examine the timeline of government announcements and the delays in implementation.

The Mumbai local AC trains were announced as part of the Railway Budget for 2012-13 by the then UPA government. The trains were then expected to cost Rs.43 crores and were to be procured as a special project, not under Mumbai Urban Transport Project. The service was supposed to begin by March 2013. However, the UPA government postponed the deadline to July 2014.

In January 2015, the then Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu announced that the first AC coaches of the train would be tested by May in the same year.

While work on the train began at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, the Railway Minister announced a broader plan to introduce a total of 12 such trains.

After much delay, the train coaches finally arrived in Mumbai in April 2016.

The cost of the train reportedly had increased to Rs. 54 crores.

However, the trial runs could only begin in November 2016 after further unexplained delays.

In June 2017, there were reports that the first AC rake could be rolled out by September. Thereafter, 9 more rakes would be procured by the railways. The reports also suggested that either the number of railway yards would be increased, or the capacity of the existing yards in Mumbai would be expanded to accommodate the new rakes.

Finally, on December 25th 2017, much to their delight, Mumbaikars got their Christmas present from the Rail Ministry in the form of Mumbai’s first AC local train plying between Churchgate and Virar.

While some commuters were all praise for the government, others felt it was too little, too late.

We hope that in view of the demand of daily commuters in Mumbai, the government will expedite the implementation of the rest of the plan. Though going by past experience, it appears highly unlikely.

An MBA by qualification, Akhilesh has dabbled into various businesses. He is a keen debater, data miner and analytically inclined. His blogs tend to present a fresh perspective on any given matter.

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