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In what is being described as the "Christmas gift" to Mumbai, the country's first air-conditioned (AC) suburban train made its maiden journey this morning from Borivili to Churchgate. The discounted price is 1.2 times of the first class in normal local trains running in Mumbai now.

To make passengers aware of the facilities and services, Western Railway officials will be on the trains until 29th December. Thousands of excited commuters crowded the stations along the line and clicked selfies before hopping on the swanky local, the city's lifeline. "We are expecting some new surprises in the coming year".

The AC train has been categorized as a "premium train with low frequency" and the fare has been pegged at 1.3 times the prevailing first-class fare.

Unlike regular local trains, the AC service will have a special weekly and fortnightly season ticket. It would later increase to Rs 221, based on fare calculation model.

The ladies compartment of the AC train. Credit Sruthi Ganapathy Raman
The ladies compartment of the AC train. Credit Sruthi Ganapathy Raman

Eight fast services will be between Churchgate and Virar, a slow local from Mahalaxmi to Borivali, and three fast services between Churchgate and Borivali will run with AC coaches.

However as an introductory offer for a period of initial six months, the base fare of single journey of AC EMU shall be charged 1.2 times, the statement said. "Respective surcharge of MUTP and GST would be levied on total AC fare", a senior railway official told The Indian Express.

The monthly pass will cost between Rs 570 and Rs 820 (till Bandra) to Rs 1,240 (till Andheri) to Rs 1,640 (till Borivali), and Rs 2,040 till Virar.

Security: The Railway Protection Force (RPF) will ensure the safety of the commuters with the presence of a suitable number of RPF constables in each coach. Besides, each coach is equipped with two fire extinguishers with instructions to operate. Added to it is the facility of announcement from motorman and guard cab to passenger area.

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