MEMU - An interesting counterpart of the Urban EMU

The MEMU, or Main line Electrical Multiple Unit are modified EMUs, meant to be used in Electrified Main lines. These units were introduced in around 2000 by ICF, Chennai. These coaches are narrower - 10'8" as compared to 12' of the normal EMU which is used in suburban sections.

The MEMUs run on 25 kV AC traction, and typically contain one power coach for each unit containing 3 coaches. The traction equipment (Pantographs, Traction motors, etc) are located on the coach housing the "Driving Cab" itself. These trains have two classes of accommodation viz, First class and Second Class. The First class coaches are usually located in the coach having the Driving cab, while the remaining of the rake is second class, and the rake - surprisingly- is vestibuled!

The Driving cab of a Virar-Dahanu MEMU. The coach is 1001A built by ICF in late 2001.

I got a chance to travel by an MEMU recently. The coaches are more spacious than a normal EMU. There is more space for standees, and the sitting space is arranged quite well in a 2X3 arrangement.

The interiors of a second class coach in an MEMU. You can see the Vestibule connecting this coach to the next coach.

The ride is quite stable, and the pickup is very fast. The train is capable to doing speeds in the range of 105 kmph. The traction motors make a noise familiar to that of a DC EMU, though not that noisy. The seating is well designed, and is a bit more comfortable than an EMU. The windows are wider than the ones in an EMU, and the design is such that it ensures an airy journey to all passengers!

A 9-Car EMU Rake pulling into Saphale on its way to Virar.

The journey is more comfortable than an EMU, and I wish such MEMU designs are copied for EMUs as well! The space offered by MEMUs for standees, makes its urban counterpart ashamed!