Siemens or BHEL Rakes in use on CR may get replaced with Bombardier

Central Railway may get remaining new Bombardier rakes. Bombardier trains have large windows, making them well-ventilated. They also have ample leg space between seats, making things easy during peak hours.

One of the train's new features is a two-pronged grab handle. Also, the handlebar at the door is fixed inside, so commuters do not lean outside the rake
One of the train’s new features is a two-pronged grab handle. Also, the handlebar at the door is fixed inside, so commuters do not lean outside the rake

Mumbai: Central Railway commuters could soon enjoy travelling in Bombardier rakes with 15-16 of them likely to be pressed into service following a request to the Railway Board earlier this month.  This means that a few of the old Siemens or BHEL rakes in use at present on CR may get replaced with better performing and more efficient Bombardier rakes — Bombardier is a Canadian aerospace and transportation company.

At present, 49 of the 86 rakes in Western Railway (WR) are Bombardier rakes. Before this, former CR General Manager Sunil Kumar Sood had refrained from pressing Bombardier rakes into service as he believed the maintenance work of different types of rakes would be difficult for the CR. According to railway officials, at least 15 of the 72 rakes to be delivered to WR will be given to the CR. “Yes, there is a possibility that at least 15-16 Bombardier rakes may be roped into service in CR. Though the Board is yet to give a sanction on the same, we are expecting a positive decision on it. While initial rakes brought in were tall enough to interfere with the low-lying bridges of CR, the rest of the rakes have been adjusted with their heights. They are fit to be run on any line of the CR,” said a senior CR official.

This will be the first time that CR will get brand new trains instead of ones being passed on from WR. “The Bombardier rakes are smoother, have a rough texture for better grip. They are also seamless on tracks and run faster, thus saving the overall commute time for commuters. Its defects are lesser and are also very spacious from inside “ said a CR official. Railway activists have called this a good move in favour of CR commuters.

“This is a good move. Using Siemens in place of Bombardier rakes for CR was a wrong decision taken in the past. These rakes will help commuters get a better commuting experience, “ said Shubhash Gupta, chairperson, Railway Yatri Parishad.

Central Railway (CR) commuters may get the remaining new, spacious and better performing Bombardier trains, according to sources in the railways. Senior railway officials have asked railway board advising committee member J.S.P. Singh to give them the remaining 11 rakes from the 72 rakes that are yet to be delivered instead of to Western Railway (WR).

CR’s former general manager, Sunil Kumar Sood, had a different approach in saying that these better performing rakes should be given to WR as the maintenance of so many different kinds of trains would be difficult. Mr Sood’s decision had met with a lot of opposition from commuters due to which new general manager Akhil Agrawal said that the decision was being revisited.

“We are expecting that a lot of our old rakes will be phased out so, right now, we are only discussing with the board if it is possible,” he said.

This will be the first time CR will be getting brand new trains instead of the usual hand-me-downs from WR.

The decision to keep the trains with WR was also out of fear that the height of Bombardier trains was more in comparison to the low-lying bridges on CR.

“The height of the trains was lowered and they are now running as good as any of our current rolling stock, so, yes, it can run on CR as well,” said a senior WR official.

Why Bombardier?

  • The grab poles have a rough texture for better grip
  • The ventilators are better than any other rolling stock currently seen on the railways
  • They have better pick-up speed and cut down on overall running time

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