Kochi: The 'faster and more comfortable' three-phase MEMU (Main Line Electrical Multiple Unit) rake was on Tuesday introduced for the first time in Thiruvananthapuram division.
The eight-car rake that can accommodate 2402 passengers conducted its first service in the Kollam-Kottayam-Ernakulam section (12.40 noon-5.30 pm) and returned to Kollam via Alappuzha (7.40 pm - 12.30 am).
"The rake facilitates improved acceleration and braking performance and therefore run faster than conventional MEMUs, with a maximum speed of 105 kmph. It has energy efficient electric traction propulsion system supported by regenerative braking that can save up to 35 per cent energy compared to conventional MEMU. The power generated will be fed into the grid," said a railway spokesperson.
The rake manufactured in Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, facilitates improved passenger amenities such as ergonomically designed seats, air bellows for secondary suspension for comfort riding, increase in passenger carrying capacity (seating 614 + standing 1788) and bio-toilets.
Water bottle holders are provided in each seat. The height of the back rest of the seat has been increased for comfortable seating of passengers. Wider windows, entrance doors and vestibules have also been provided.
The rake formation consists of stainless steel body coaches with easy to slide, light weight sliding doors and fiber reinforced polymer interior panels.
Also CCTV surveillance system, LED lights, LED indication when a chain is pulled and a GPS based passenger information system are provided in all the coaches.
It also requires less maintenance because of robust 3 phase AC squirrel cage induction motors drive in place of DC series motors and introduction of oil-free compressor.
Meanwhile, the long pending demand of passengers for operation of MEMU services on all days is yet to be taken up."Currently the MEMU trains operate in six days a week and each of them will be send for Periodic Overhauling in any one day. We require another MEMU rake (spare) for operation in all seen days. The headquarters have already allocated one more rake and is expected to be delivered soon," said a senior railway official....