मुंबई Mumbai: The Central Railway (CR) plans to swap its too-tall Bombardier rakes with the Siemens ones that ply on the Western Railway (WR), but some fear that the exchange may end up affecting the smooth running of services on both the lines.
The Bombardiers are unfit to run between CST and Thane as these are 4.29 metres tall when the maximum height for operation on the CR is 4.27 metres.
Of the 72 rakes with electrical fittings from Bombardier Transportation ordered by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation, 40 were for the CR and the rest for the WR.
“The Bombardier rakes comply with the schedule of dimension (SOD) fixed by the Indian Railways,” a senior official said. “However, in Mumbai, the situation is peculiar because of the presence of century-old bridges over tracks. Neither the height of the bridges nor the railway tracks can be raised further.”
A WR official said that any new rake would face some teething problems.
“When Siemens rakes came around 2006, there were several malfunctions,” the official said.
WR officials fear they will have to iron out initial issues with Bombardiers too. Questions also remain about the performance of old rakes from the WR that will be put to use on the CR.
“The Siemens rakes, if these come from WR, will be 10 years old,” an official said. “These may have undergone a lot of wear and tear. Hence, it can pose operational problems.”
Another view in the CR was that the Siemens rakes would have been tried and tested on the WR. “These will be in fact more beneficial to us,” a CR official said.
The Siemens rakes are under 4.27 metres in height and suitable on the CR.