Commuters can expect a quick ride from Thane to Kalyan this monsoon

The Central Railway will soon increase the speed on the Down line from 30 to 80 kmph in Parsik Tunnel near Kalyan; the leakages inside it will also be repaired

The Central Railway will soon increase the speed on the Down line after completing vital work on the tracks in the Parsik Tunnel near Kalyan. After the monsoon they will also work on plugging leakages in the tunnel. mid-day had reported on the issue on March 10, ‘One of the oldest rail tunnels in Asia needs urgent repairs’. The tunnel is between Kalwa and Mumbra stations. The speed of the trains will be increased in a couple of days.

Trains ply between Thane and Dombivli, and Kalwa and Mumbra stations through the tunnel. File pic
Trains ply between Thane and Dombivli, and Kalwa and Mumbra stations through the tunnel. File pic

“We will increase the speed of trains on the Down line (towards Kalyan) to 80 kmph from the current 30 kmph in couple of days now. We carried vital track related work that wasn’t done for over 3 years,” said Amitabh Ojha, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway.

Deep screening work was carried out to resolve this issue, wherein the ballasts or stones between the concrete sleepers were changed, which has made the track robust and stronger. Sources said that everyday there is a delay by at least 3 minutes in each train coming to and from Kalyan, which affects their overall punctuality.

The authorities will be easing the speed restriction on the Up line on which trains to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus run, only after monsoon. The officials claim that this monsoon, at least the speed of trains won’t be an issue especially on the Thane-Kalyan stretch.

Repairing leakages
They will also start plugging leakages inside the tunnel after monsoon. “We will be using a technology to plug these cracks, that hasn’t been used in India yet,” said another CR official. The tunnel’s condition has deteriorated to the extent that there are multiple leakages inside it where water spurts onto the passing train and its ceiling is cracked right beneath the rocky hill.

Over the years there have been lot of illegal slums and structures that have cropped up above the tunnel. Slum dwellers have also built toilets that add to the leakage. It is like a waterfall inside the tunnel during monsoon.

The repairs will consist of putting a 5mm thick cement cum metal fabric that will create a channel for diverting the water. This new coating will be above the overhead wires that supply electricity to trains and on the existing cracked layer inside the tunnel.

The rail authorities will also speed up the much delayed work of adding 5-6 lines between Thane and Diva that will segregate the long distance trains from suburban services. Presently between Kurla LTT and Thane there are 6 lines but they narrow down to 4 lines on this stretch. “We will also create two new platforms for fast trains at Diva by October," said A Srivastava, Additional General Manager, CR. These two new lines will be ready by December 2017.

About the tunnel
>> The tunnel catering to the fast lines is 1.3 km long — wherein trains ply between Thane and Dombivli stations
>> The tunnel on the slow line is barely 100 metres long

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