The silver-blue exterior of the country’s first AC local train was gleaming as it arrived at Borivili station’s platform 9 at around 10.10am on Monday. On the inside, it is furnished with the same blue and grey polycarbonate seats found in the second class compartments of a regular local which was disappointing considering I expected better after paying Rs 165 for a one-way journey. Fortunately, there was ample place to sit despite it being the maiden journey as the ticket collector asked travellers without a ticket to alight before the train finally departed right on time.This being the first AC local train, I was keen on walking down the vestibule coaches from end to end and experience the frenzy. While the Railways have provided separate coaches for women and reserved seats for physically challenged passengers and senior citizens, one tends to miss the difference as you walk into the coaches. The Western Railways may have to better demarcate the coaches reserved for women, like in the Metro.The luggage racks, although sturdy, are too low. Most importantly, the coaches of the AC local need CCTV cameras which the administration has promised to install soon.The air conditioning was pleasant and the fans complimented the cooling. However, the far ends of the coaches, particularly near the motor coach, it seemed a bit warm. Each coach is equipped with two fire extinguishers, a talk back system with instructions to ensure the safety of passengers, notices regarding pulling of chain, and a list of dos and don’ts.
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