The next time you want to travel to Goa, there is a possibility of plenty of rail tickets being available as there are plans to start a double decker air-conditioned train between Mumbai and Madgaon. If the trial results are favourable, it will be Mumbai’s second such train.
An official has informed dna that a double-decker coach, which will be sent from Bhopal to conduct trials, is likely to arrive in Mumbai next week.
Once the coach arrives, attempts will be made to check several parameters to ascertain if plying a double-decker, air-conditioned train is technically feasible on the Central and Konkan Railways.
Double-decker coaches are taller than normal coaches, thus posing a challenge for the authorities to check if the coaches will be able to clear several tunnels — right from Parsik tunnel up to Madgaon — within the specified regulations of the railways.
According to an official who requested anonymity, the coaches are likely to clear the tests at all places except Byculla railway station, because the height of one of the bridges there will pose a challenge as there isn’t adequate clearance between the coach and the bridge.
Therefore, is it likely if the trial is successful it might be operated between Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and Madgaon. An official informed that CST and Dadar are both very congested stations, thereby making it difficult to start it from Dadar.
On September 27, a double decker air-conditioned train was inaugurated to run between Bhopal and Indore, but the train has been receiving poor response. On an average, there are 100 passengers in the train, which has capacity to ferry 1,320 passengers in one trip. During Diwali, there were only 8 passengers.
Even the coaches were reduced from 11 to 8, thereby making it possible to transfer one of the coaches to Mumbai to trials. There is a possibility of the existing route being scrapped, but for this, three months’ notice will have to be given to the passengers to discontinue reservations.
Currently, the only such train operating from Mumbai is by Western Railway, and runs between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.