This is the first time for the Indian railways that old rakes have been retrofitted. Thirtyrakes that are compatible to run on Direct Current (DC) will be retrofitted to run on AC traction. Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR said, "The target for converting was April-end, but we have achieved this feat a week earlier. Ten rakes are expected to be retrofitted by December 2011. We also plan to convert additional 20 rakes by March 2013."
Only those rakes that have more than 15 years of life will be retrofitted.
He said, "The initial project, which involves retrofitting 10 rakes will cost Rs 45 crore. The work will be undertaken at Mahalaxmi workshop," he added.
Though the initial trial has proved successful, further tests will be carried on Borivli-Virar sction where the traction overhead supply has been converted from DC to AC.
Chandrayan said, "As of now, the old DC rakes are being converted to run on AC/DC as work on conversion of its traction overhead supply from DC to AC is yet to be completed on Borivli-Churchgate section. This is likely be over within four months, after which all the rakes having AC compatibility will be able to ply the entire section up to Virar and beyond."
The WR railway said that the retrofitting rake with AC traction will lead to effective utilisation of DC rakes which would have been out of use afer AC conversion.
Chandrayan said, "These rakes will be put in service after the AC conversion is completed and this will help in additional services and augmentation of existing rakes from 9 car to 12 car"
This is a major project which involves replacing the existing DC equipments, cables and creating space for placement of AC electrics. It also involves extensive job of cabling.
While executing this project, the workshop has kept in mind the additional space for handicapped commuters, he added.
Source - Times of India