Early Diwali gift from WR: Extra women-only coaches

Sources says that as per coach composition, one coach will have a First Class and a Second Class compartment for women passengers

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Early Diwali gift from WR: Extra women-only coaches


There is an early Diwali gift for women using the Western Railway (WR) local trains. In a first, the WR has made provision for an additional First Class compartment for women commuters in their latest 15-car train that will become operational from October 1. This is part of their plan to augment services from 1,323 to 1,355 per day starting next month.

As per plans, the WR will run its fourth 15-car train, in which an extra coach for women will be added, that will operate 12 services in a day. Sources said that as per coach composition, one coach will have a First Class and a Second Class compartment for women passengers.

The remaining two will be general compartments, wherein one will also include a Handicap compartment.

"This is for the first time that more space will be given to women as far as the First Class compartment is concerned," said a WR official. At present, there is one First Class compartment that is dedicated to women for 24-hours, one First Class and two Second Class women compartment that can be occupied by male commuters between 11.30 pm to 5.30 am.

This has been done after Railway Minister Piyush Goyal asked both WR and Central Railway (CR) to add more 15-car trains, at a late night meeting earlier last week. "We will be adding 32 services from October 1, which will include this 15-car train," said Mukul Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Western Railway.

The WR has a fleet of 94 rakes, of which 86 rakes run everyday while rest are kept for maintenance. For the new services to be accomodated, the WR will add three more rakes in the timetable, which will lower the number of buffer trains in their fleet. DNA on September 21 had reported about more services in the article 'Ply more trains to CSMT, Churchgate: Piyush Goyal'.

However, sources said that top officials, including DK Sharma, General Manager of CR, had told the rail minister that they do not have space for 15-car trains. "We have been asked to study the possibility to add more 15-car trains," said a CR official. The CR operates 122 rakes every day. One 15-car rake (it runs 16 services) is part of it, though it has a fleet of 145 rakes.

In fact, passenger associations, too, are demanding more 15-car trains to ease the commuter rush. "Everyday trains on CR are running late. The administration needs to add more 15-car trains and this is the only way to tackle it," said Madhu Kotian, President, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh.

The associations complain that services are poor due to which there is over-crowding inside most of the trains. Thus, commuters are forced to take long distance trains or travel dangerously at the foot board.

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