PUNE: The Central Railway authorities of the Pune division on Monday flagged off the first rake of the improved electric multiple unit (EMU) for the Pune-Lonavla route. Four more will be added to the local train in a month.

The rake can attain a speed of 100kmph against the conventional rake which attains a maximum speed up to 80kmph which will save passengers’ journey time.

“Lonavla is an important suburban sector of the division and the stretch takes around 90 minutes to cover by train. At present, there are 22 pairs of conventional rakes plying on the route and we expect that the EMU will reduce the timing by at least 15 to 20 minutes. Each rake has got 12 coaches. The electrical technology of the rake is superior and has been developed by Siemens,” senior divisional commercial manager Krishnath Patil told TOI.

Another senior official with the electrical department said four more rakes will be arriving for Pune from Mumbai in a month. “All five rakes cannot come at the same time and we cannot accommodate them. The new rakes are replacing the conventional rakes,” the official said.

Besides speed, the new rake has coachwise public announcement and address system with better air suspension and better interiors for passengers’ comfort.

AHU (Additional ventilation facility system) and better lighting have also been provided. The coaches are bigger which means it will facilitate 10% more sitting and standing space for commuters. The EMU is provided with electricity regeneration system which will save a lot of energy. It is provided with three-phase induction motors of 240KW which are lighter in nature and require less maintenance as against 187 KW of the conventional rake. Parking brakes in this rake will avoid roll down of trains and provide better safety, Patil added.

Another official said the EMU has a man-machine interface technology. ” If there is a fault in any of the train’s system, the driver will immediately get an alert about it. Also, the faulty system gets isolated automatically which means more safety for the passengers,” the official added.

Commuters between Pune-Lonavla section, mainly comprise school and college students, workers, office goers, professionals and businessmen.

“It is good news for daily passengers and improved trains should come to Pune division from time to time,” Harsha Shah, president of Railway Pravasi Group, said.

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