The first AC local in Mumbai's Central railway network began on Friday and its service led to prolonged delays on the railway line. The crowd at the station also led to a stampede like situation at Thane station.
Fulfilling the commitment of passenger comfort & convenience, an AC local train, plying between Thane-Vashi-Panvel in Mumbai, is going to be flagged off today.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) January 30, 2020
Mumbaikars can rejoice as Railways has paved the way for an enhanced passenger experience & hassle-free travel. pic.twitter.com/6lsieTdtTg
The service started early in the morning, but around 8 am, there were delays on the line as the passenger rush increased. The trains and the platforms were overcrowded despite multiple staff members of the Central Railway and Railway police manning the train and platform to guide the commuters. The automatic doors of the train would not shut because of overcrowding as well.
"We are appealing to people not to board the AC train without a valid ticket, so the doors of the train close without any problem," chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said. Security will be beefed up further inside and outside the train at Thane station during the evening peak hours from 4.30 onwards, he added.
The Central Railway will operate 16 services of the AC local on Trans-Harbour line between Thane-Nerul, Thane-Panvel and Thane-Vashi stations. The first will leave Panvel station at 5.44am and the last will leave Thane station at 9.45pm and will not be operational on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Among its many features, the AC local has a GPS-based information system for passengers with intercom facility, two-sided displays and two double-sided displays in each coach, the official said.
The train has ergonomically designed stainless steel passenger seats, apart from wide and large double-glass sealed windows that offer panoramic view outside. For the safety of passengers, the train has an automatic door closure system, alarm system for emergencies, and a talk-back facility for communication between passengers and train crew. The Western Railway has been operating one AC local on its route for the last two years.
The AC train service was inaugurated by Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi on Thursday.
(Image credits: twitter.com/Central_Railway)