A new chapter in the 15-year-old journey of the MMTS services in the city, with brand new 12-coach trains, slowly beginning to replace the age-old nine-coach trains.
With an eye on boosting the suburban rail transport sector in the capital, South Central Railway (SCR) introduced two 12-car MMTS trains, with the first one chugging out of the Secunderabad Railway Station towards Falaknuma at 4.30 am.
The new trains, apart from the glossy looks and colourful patterns, also have an enhanced seating capacity of 1,150 (against the existing capacity of 700) and a standing capacity of 4,000 (against the existing 2,000). Other facilities include CCTV cameras in women’s coaches and LED display boards showing the direction, destination and approaching station details.
Two more of the new 12-car trains will be added to the service. It was planned to introduce more number of new rakes in a phased manner, which would augment all existing MMTS services with three additional coaches, thereby enabling all services run with 12 car coach instead of the present 9 coach services, officials said.
“Each 12-car MMTS train was designed at a cost of Rs 4 crore for providing convenient travel facilities to suburban commuters,” said a senior SCR official.
The patronage of the MMTS services is expected to go up with the new trains. The existing 9-car MMTS trains had the patronage of 1.5 lakh to 1.8 lakh per day through 121 trips.
From 6 coaches to 12
Local train journeys had become a new experience with the MMTS services, which were launched by the then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani on August 9, 2003.
What began with six-coach MMTS trains registering 48 trips a day, carrying over 12,000 passengers on the Secunderabad – Lingampally (23 km) and Hyderabad – Lingampally (24 km) stretches, now has evolved into 12-coach trains operating 121 trips a day.
Officials said the launch of the Hyderabad Metro services in the city had not affected the popularity or patronage of the MMTS service, which enables passengers to travel to different parts of the city by spending just Rs 5 or Rs 10 on a ticket