India's first fully air-conditioned train to ply on a suburban route will run between downtown Mumbai's Churchgate and suburban Virar railway stations from Christmas Day, according to the Western Railway. Western Railway (WR) officials said fast train services were delayed briefly as the AC local stopped for additional time at a few stations.
Officials plan to take feedback from commuters travelling in the AC local. "We hope commuters do not repeat this in a train like this", said a senior railway official. "The RPF personnel will be posted for crowd management and security goal in the train".
Commuters have also complained about the higher fares for traveling in the AC local.
The AC train has been categorized as a "premium train with low frequency" and the fare has been pegged at 1.3 times the prevailing first-class fare. While RPF personnel posted on the train were discouraging people from entering without a valid ticket, the authorities had chose to go easy at least on Day 1. The minimum fare will be Rs 60 and the maximum Rs 220. As many as 456 single journey tickets, and 736 weekly and monthly passes were issued on December 25, earning Rs 68,015 for the Mumbai division of WR.
"It was totally a different sort of an experience". With more rakes, it promises a more comfortable ride through the coming summer.
The first service of the air-conditioned local will be flagged off by Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal at 2.10 pm on Monday from Churchgate railway station. The final fare chart will be out on Sunday. Eight of these will run as "fast" trains that stop only at major railway stations between Churchgate and Virar.
The train departed from Borivli at 10.30 am and reached Churchgate at 11.15 am.