Chennai: In a bid to boost passenger comfort commuting on suburban sections, the Southern Railway has plans to implement air-conditioned EMUs soon. Sources from the railway informed that the decision to introduce AC coaches has been going on lately. With rising temperatures in the city, AC coaches are bound to provide better commuting experience, they added.
Speaking to NewsToday, a senior Southern Railway official said, ‘Discussions are on to include AC coaches for the suburban network at Chennai Railway division. If we get approval from the Railway Ministry, than necessary actions will be taken to initiate the work.’ The official also pointed that tickets for trains with AC coaches will naturally cost more.
The demand for AC coaches has been on for the past few years. Many railway commuters association across the city have raised this issue. Also with the introduction of Metro trains in the city, many passengers have demanded for air-conditioned coaches in the suburban network as well. A senior official from Integral Coach Factory (ICF) informed NewsToday that as of now, the AC EMU coaches that have been manufactured are for the Mumbai Railway Division.
* AC EMU trains in Mumbai a hit
According to Western Railways, in the year 2018-19, the AC local train collected a total earning of around Rs 19 crore, adding that the the service is getting a very good response from commuters. In the month of April 2019, the AC local train earned around Rs 1.84 crore. Since its launch on 25 December 2017, th AC local train has earned a total revenue of around Rs 24 crore up to 30 April 2019, said a recent report.
The train boasts several modern features such as automatic door closure system, LED lighting, LED-based coach identification system for door malfunctioning and alarm chain pulling, modular luggage racks, a talk-back system for commuters to seek assistance from the train guard in case of an emergency, GPS-based passenger information system, among others.