Helpless Central Railway sticks to Old Rakes

Needs to scrap around 345 coaches, but can’t as there are no new ones

The Central Railway (CR) needs to scrap around 345 coaches immediately but is unable to do so due to lack of replacement coaches, said general manager Sunil Kumar Sood. He has, however, said that as soon as the conversion from Direct Current (DC) 1,500 volts to Alternate Current (AC) 25,000 volts on its mainline takes place next week, 100 coaches will have to be immediately scrapped as they are running past their 25-year limit.Speaking at CST to mediapersons on Friday, Mr Sood clarified that the CR has been running these 345 coaches by performing periodic overhauls on them every 18 months, but the coaches are well past their designated life.

“I need to scrap 345 coaches as of today, but I can’t replace them with new or less older coaches because there aren’t any in the system. Another issue we will face is that after the conversion of the mainline is done from DC to AC traction next week, 100 coaches will have to be scrapped that very day itself. The remaining 245 will have to eventually be scrapped as and when we get second-hand coaches from the Western Railway,” he said.

The Western Railway (WR) will be handing over their old rakes, after the remaining 70 new Bombardier rakes start coming in, from which two have already arrived Senior CR officials had also expected that after the conversion at least two rakes would be made available for the Harbour and Trans-Harbour lines, allowing them to increase services by a minimum of 12 on the both these lines. Mr Sood has said that this too is not going to happen.

“The Harbour will not get any new services because, as I told you, they (coaches) are just too old to be run anymore. It’s just too risky from the safety point of view,” Mr Sood said.

Compared to WR, the CR has a higher need of number of coaches, that is, CR runs 121 rakes while WR runs 82 rakes on its line everyday.