The first of the all-new local trains for Mumbai will leave from its manufacturing base at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai on October 1. It is expected to arrive in the city between October 8 and 10 and will then go into a three-month-long series of trials before it is inducted into the suburban system.
The train is part of the 72 rakes that the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation will get over the next couple of years for WR and CR.
The process to get these trains, an upgrade from the current white-and purple ones, started in December 2010 when a global tender was placed. The tender was won by Bombardier in November 2011 and, after almost one-and-a-half years of deliberations between the railway ministry and the firm, the actual production of the train started in April this year.
The train can reach speeds of 130 kilometres per hour and will sport what is internationally called the straight sidewall concept. Coaches in India, including the suburban ones in Mumbai, are bell-shaped. The straight sidewall concept, one that has adorned trains abroad for years now, is expected to make the train faster, thanks to better aerodynamics.
The train will maintain the white-and-purple look with the exception that the purple will be a few shades deeper and painted around the door area in such a way that it can camouflage one of city’s pet passions spitting gutkha and paan from running trains.
A senior official said the train will be tested under various conditions on WR and CR tracks by engineers of the Research Design and Standards Organisation in Lucknow.