It’s official — the planned Virar-Oval Maidan elevated rail corridor will have 26 stations, stretching along 62.26 km, and dipping underground for five stations between Oval Maidan and Mahalaxmi. There will be no stations for Marine Lines and Grant Road on the stretch.
According to the detailed project information prepared by the Railway Ministry for this Rs 21,000 crore project, five stations would go underground between the starting point and Mahalaxmi. 19 stations would be elevated, while two would be at ground level on the Mahalaxmi-Virar stretch.
Till recently, there was some uncertainty about the alignment of the proposed new line, which will host air-conditioned local trains. Railways authorities were known to be locked in a tussle with the state government over land acquisition between Mahalaxmi and Churchgate. “Due to several buildings flanking stations on Grant Road and Charni Road, the railways have decided to go underground on this stretch,” said a railway official on condition of anonymity.
While underground stations will be flanked on both sides by the rail lines, the elevated stations will be located on the side of the platforms, which will be separated by the tracks.
Due to height restrictions imposed by the Airports Authority, the stations will be at ground level on the Santacruz-Vile Parle stretch.
The average distance between stations would be around 2.25 km. In the underground sections, the rails will be placed about 15 metres below ground level, and in the elevated section could rise to nearly 20 metres, crossing 81 foot over-bridges (FOBs) and 25 road over-bridges (ROBs).
The trains, running at a top speed of 100 kph, are expected to carry 90,000 passengers every hour in each direction.
Other details about the implementation of the project will be revealed on August 16, when railway authorities are expected to receive queries from prospective bidders. “The details have been framed by the rail ministry and the Planning Commission,” said a WR official.
Surprisingly, interested developers have been asked to submit a demand draft worth Rs 10 lakh to the rail ministry. The project is expected to be awarded to the chosen developer by March 2013.