12-car train service runs into six hitches

Nearly a month-and-a-half after funds were allocated in the Union Railway Budget for operating 12-car train services between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Panvel on Harbour line, railway authorities have now identified stations that might pose problems while perating/accommodating these operations.

The railways will be implementing the work of converting all 9-car trains into 12-car ones at a cost of Rs 715 crore. The expenses also include shifting of signals, procuring 153 additional local train coaches. For accommodating 12-car trains, the length of platforms must be extended at least by 70 metres. Mentioned here are the railway stations where authorities are expecting to encounter issues during platform extension for bringing in 12-car trains.

Cost of the project Rs 715 cr

Illustration/Amit Bandre

Problem: Being one the most crowded stations on the Central line, extending Kurla station will be a mammoth task for officials. Several underground utilities and cables, including power and signalling wires have been laid underneath the tracks.
Solution: One of the possible answers to this problem would be shifting these underground utilities.

Problem: It is an important junction where the tracks connect with the lines leading to the Bombay Port Trust from where freight and goods trains pass.
Solution: Officials will soon get in touch with BPT authorities to utilise their portion of land, and in exchange, give them a plot equivalent in size to the one they have acquired from the trust. The piece of land required by the railway officials has to be on the southern end of the station.
Problem: Currently, platform extension is bit of an issue, as there are entry/exit points at both ends.
Solution: It is most likely that officials would give a landing or entry/exit point towards the CST-end of the station, while the other end would be extended for allowing 12-car trains.
Problem: The station lacks space at both ends for the proposed extension.
Solution: The officials want to redo the entire station. As per the proposed plan, the authorities are looking at building an island station, wherein both the platforms would be at the centre, while trains would pass by the sides. This station would then be connected to foot over bridges.
Problem: This station poses a peculiar predicament. There is a Road Under Bridge (RUB) close to its platforms. MRVC officials claim that this structure, along with a few others, will make it difficult to carry out extension work. 
Solution: The possible answer, as proposed by railway authorities, is to rejig the original layout. The officials want to make a few changes to the existing station that would enable them to build an additional platform. The extension is likely to be built above the RUB in a way that it doesn’t obstruct functioning of 12-car trains.
Problem: This UNESCO World Heritage Site might pose difficulties in extending length of platforms for accommodating 12-car train services. Officials claim that while the southern end has no scope for extension, the northern end has a building and a foot over bridge (FOB) next to platform numbers one and two. Apart from this, there are signals and overhead cable poles close to these platforms, making it necessary for them to be removed before the extension work commences.
Solution: Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), which is planning the implementation of 12-car services on Harbour line is still mulling the possible option of extending platforms one and two, the starting points for Harbour line trains.

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