Western Railway to test push-pull technology in Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi in a week’s time

Long-distance Mumbai-Delhi Duronto Express and Karnavati Express are next in line for trials

Passengers travelling in Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express can expect their travel time to be reduced by 15-20 minutes as Western Railway (WR) is all set to test the push-pull technology on this route. Trials will also be conducted in Mumbai-Delhi Duronto Express and Karnavati Express.

The trials are expected to begin in a week’s time soon after the requisite approvals. A senior official from WR said, “The electrical systems to connect the front and rear locomotive engines have been completed. Now a Joint Speed Certificate (JAC), which will have approvals from the heads of all departments, is in process. Once permissions are in place, trials will begin.”

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi leaves from Mumbai at 6:25 am and reaches Ahmedabad at 12:45 pm. The aim of the trials is to reduce the journey time by around 25 minutes. Similarly, on the Mumbai-Delhi Duronto Express, the time is expected to be reduced by an hour or at least 45 minutes, bringing the running time from 17 hour and 15 minutes to 16 hours and 15 minutes. WR had successfully reduced the travel time on Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani by nearly an hour after the push-pull trials.

In push and pull technology, two locomotive engines are attached — one at the front and the other at the rear. Both these engines are controlled by the loco pilot at the front. The two engines will enhance the speed of the train, especially in the ghat sections, while also reducing the turn-around time of a train at stations when an engine is detached from one end, removed and attached to the other end.

“With engines on both ends, trains don’t have to wait for such a procedure which takes around 30 minutes,” explained an official of WR.

However, despite conducting successful trials on Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani route on WR, the technology is yet to be implemented as the Railway Board is yet to give clearance. “During push-pull tests, each section has to conduct its own oscillation trials and get a go-ahead from the Commissioner of Railway Safety. Between Mumbai-Delhi, there are various zonal railways and the clearance of North-Central Railway is awaited,” explained an official.

Commenting on the planned trials, CPRO/WR Ravinder Bhakar said, “We are trying to reduce travel time on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route, but this technology is more effective in long-distance journeys such as Mumbai-Delhi.”