The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation will float global tenders and the rough idea is to start getting trains in the city by 2024. The decision could transform the way Mumbaikars travel. The fares proposed for Mumbai Metro are as low as Rs 10 for the first 3-km journey as compared to the present minimum fare of Rs 65 for the AC local train.
This is the first time that the Indian Railways at the Centre has given in-principal approval for lowering AC fares. As per discussions, the MRVC will procure 238 fully AC trains under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project 3 and 3A. Once the tender process starts the first new trains are expected to be manufactured within three years from now.
In a notable move, the Mumbai railways will now get only fully air-conditioned local trains with fare structures on the lines of the Mumbai Metro standards. The existing trains will continue and, as their life ends, be dispatched to other zonal railways or phased out.
The design of the trains, to be made by private partners, will be changed to match international Metro trains. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw conducted a two-and-a-half-hour-long meeting with divisional railway officials and the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) to discuss various aspects of the issue.
Shailesh Goyal Western Railway Zonal Users’ Consultative Committee Official told media the first important thing is that the current AC local’s single journey ticket fare will be brought at par with the fares proposed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) or Delhi Metro. The season tickets, that is monthly and other passes, however, will see no change in prices.
The second key decision is that no new non-AC train will be procured for Mumbai suburban railway. All trains will be full AC—a step that will upgrade the suburban railway. The third is that, as per Vaishnaw’s directions, all trains will be designed as per international Metro standards and will be manufactured by private players. The new AC trains will be made as per the design of international Metro trains.