Mumbai: The Central Railway may switch from 1500 V Direct Current (DC) to 25KV Alternating Current (AC) between CST and Thane by May 24. This is the only section on Indian Railways which runs on DC current. CR’s general manager S K Sood said, “We are working to undertake the switch from DC to AC during the May 23-24 weekend.”
CR successfully undertook test charging of the AC power in December 2014. A part of the railway network—from LTT-Thane till Kalyan and beyond—has already been converted from DC to AC. A senior official said, “Till now, we run two types of rakes as trains between Thane and CST still operate on the DC system.”
The CR runs 10 services with DC rakes between CST and Thane. Most of these rakes have outlived their lives. A senior official said, “These rakes are risky to run as they are prone to mishaps. We have to switch to AC section to run better rakes.”
The commissioner of railway safety has granted his approval but the chief commissioner of railway safety has put the ball in the railway’s court on whether or not to go ahead with the conversion.
There are apprehensions that the lower height of the British-era bridges can pose safety challenges. However, CR plans to apply the insulation paint beneath bridge and catenary wire to prevent mishaps due to short-circuit.