Mumbai: Delivery of remaining 70 new rakes of Bombardier trains have been postponed by more than a year. Thirty of the rakes will trickle down by March 2016, while the rest will be delivered by year end.
According to officials from the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the rakes were supposed to be delivered in pairs every month by this year but are stuck in safety checks after the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) realized that the trains were infringing the safety dimensions.
An official, on condition of anonymity, said that the initial 30 trains that are supposed to arrive in March next year will come in phases. However, the officials seem unsure of the details of how the rakes will be delivered. “We are only sure that these 30 rakes will arrive by March, but we do not know if they will come in pairs every month as was initially thought or four of them will be sent every two months. But we have been assured that the rakes will arrive by March next year.”
This is the third deadline set by railways as the rakes were supposed to arrive in the city on January 1, 2014 initially. However, as the delays progressed, December 31 of the same year was then sat as the revised deadline which was later pushed to March 2015.
The news comes after senior railway officials confirmed that the new rakes to arrive need changes to be made to them. The dual handle-bars in the trains will be changed to single ones and a single hand-hold rod will be used at the entrance instead of the hexagonal one used in the initial Bombardier models. “These two new changes are not big. The basic structure of the train remains the same, which is why we are hopeful that the trains will be here within the stipulated time,” added the official.
The rakes are currently running only on Western Railway (WR) and will not be given to Central Railway (CR) as was decided earlier. The speed of the train has also been increased on May 8; it now runs from 80 kmph to 105 kmph.