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Mumabi Western Railway introduces Automatic Sliding Door for local trains

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Western Railway tested the Automatic Sliding Door (ASD) concept on Friday- the first time trial runs have been done during the day- with a train having one set of ASD installed in a coach running between Mahalaxmi and Borivali. While the trial run was not open to the public, a large posse of mediapersons and railway officials were at hand to give a first-hand account of how the ride was. The ASD has been installed in a single coach of a Siemens rake.

Railway officials agreed that while the trial run tested the technical aspects of the ASD- which returned satisfactory results- the real problem is when it will be tested in real-time with the kind of crowds that are natural to Mumbai's suburban system.

"In a trial run like this, since no one was getting in or off at the stations between Mahalaxmi and Borivali, we cannot know for certain if the time we have allotted for the ASD to open and shut is adequate. Secondly we still do not know if these doors can take the kind of wear and tear that comes from such huge crowds," agreed a top railway official.

The ASD concept is one of the big ticket ideas on the suburban system meant to minimise loss of lives rising out of people falling off crowded trains. It would take Rs 4 crores each, said officials, to install ASDs in each train. This would mean that it would take close to Rs 900 crores to install these ASDs on all 200-odd rakes own by WR and Central Railway.

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