WR tinkers over temp for AC trains

Union minister Suresh Prabhu has repeatedly said that this "image" of poor service needs to alter.

Mumbai: The WR, which is conducting trials of the air-conditioned local, are concerned about what the exact temperature of the train should be when it is packed during peak hours. Officials have put out feelers that initial services could be experimental and would ply with the commuters during what is called-Peak-Hour-Peak-Direction (PHPD) in railway lingo.

The Asian Age had reported that the first trial of the air-conditioned train by the WR, which was conducted on May 25, (titled ‘Technical glitches mar first trial of AC-local on WR’) had thrown up a technical issue where the train would slow down on its own.

Officials said that, “The fear is that the train service would start and would most likely be inaugurated at the hands of the Minister of Railways. But, if the temperature is not precise, there would be severe backlash from the public and the train would become a source of embarrassment instead of pride.” The official also said, “We are thinking of telling the public that it's a trial, and running a few services to gauge the appropriate temperature. Only then would we introduce a regular service. If there is even a slight mismatch in the required and provided temperature, the public outcry would be extremely harmful to our image.”

Union minister Suresh Prabhu has repeatedly said that this "image" of poor service needs to alter. The MSRTC is an organisation that has experienced this backlash. Passengers have complained that the AC's temperature is not regulated and the conductors often don't pay heed to complaints. The Mumbai Metro, as well as long distance trains, often re-adjust the air-conditioned temperature according to weather seasons as well as during nighttime travel.

The trial is being conducted between Mumbai Central and Borivili and then Virar. The air-conditioning unit testing which was being conducted by the CR when it was under their jurisdiction, had revealed that the train was freezing at 16 degree Celsius and they were unable to increase this temperature to 20 degrees. The AC unit would be working in a packed capacity of 4,000 people per coach.

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