The Western Railway could soon increase the number of AC coaches for local train services in Mumbai. A survey regarding this plan has already been conducted among the daily commuters of the Mumbai Suburban network to understand their preference about this change, reported news agency ANI. The results of this 20-question survey showed that 70 per cent of the commuters were in favour of introducing AC coaches in locals and requested the authorities for the same.
Speaking about the plan, Western Railway’s General Manager Alok Bansal, said that they are moving towards their plan to bring more AC local services are in continuous talk with the Central government’s Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and Maharashtra government’s Mumbai urban transport Project (MUTP).
Bansal added that commuters were looking for better facilities during their travel and the survey indicates the preference of people about Mumbai’s lifeline locals. He further talked about the future of non-ac coaches in Railways and said that at present, they will be available in a certain proportion in each local train.
However, Bansal emphasized that in near future, most of the trains will get AC services.
The railways have been planning to introduce hybrid local trains where both AC and non AC coaches will be present. Bansal said that local services will get both AC and non-AC coaches and the railways were already conducting a feasibility test for it.
The Western Railway authorities are mulling over the plan and are in talks with the Indian Coach Factory to discuss the technicalities in connecting AC coaches and non-AC coaches of local trains among other issues.
Western Railway ran the first local train with AC coaches on December 25, 2017, from Borivli to Churchgate.
While the introductory ticket price of this AC local train was 1.2 times the price of first-class coaches in train, it got revised in June 2019. The prices climbed up to 1.3 times the base fare of the existing single journey of the first-class ticket