The Western Railway will run the fully air-conditioned rakes only on the fast corridor, and that too only between Churchgate and Borivli.
The Western Railway plans to peg the AC local fare to the rate charged for first AC chair car. As of now, the minimum distance slab for first AC chair car is 100 km — roughly the distance between Mumbai Central and Boisar on the WR — and fare for the slab is Rs 255.
“For the AC local train, we will have to keep two slabs at 40 km and 25 km, for which the fare could be Rs 100 and Rs 75, respectively,” a Western Railway official said.
Even though the air-conditioned rakes are expected only in January, the Western Railway has made room for these in the revised time-table that is to be implemented from October 1.
“We plan to run as many as 10 services with this air-conditioned rake, of which at least two to three services will be during the morning and evening peak hours,” the Western Railway official said.
The official said it made sense to run the services only between Churchgate and Borivli as it would allow running the optimum number of services during peak hours. Taking the services all the way up to Virar will increase the run time, which would prevent Western Railwayfrom running more than one service during the peak hours.
The Churchgate-Borivli distance is 34 km, while Churchgate-Virar is 60 km. It takes one hour and 21 minutes to travel between Churchgate and Virar as against 45 minutes between Churchgate and Borivli by a fast train.
There will be no concession for monthly season tickets.
“If we keep the fare at Rs 100, a season ticket worth of Rs 5,000 will be issued per month, assuming that 50 journeys will be carried out per month by the commuter,” the official said.
Unlike the Metro and Monorail, the suburban local network stations are not of the access-control kind.
There will be no token or smart card system to deduct the fare as and when a journey is completed since the platforms will be used for non-AC services as well.
“To prevent ticketless or unauthorized travel, we plan to depute ticket-checking staff randomly in front of many compartments to ensure deterrence and to catch offenders,” the official said.
The rake, which will run on 25 kV traction, is being manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory in Perumbur near Chennai.
The rake will have a vestibule-type design and the seating arrangement will be similar to the one in existing rakes. the railways having decided against the longitudinal seating arrangement prevalent in Metro coaches.