In order to reduce land acquisition hurdles, Mumbai’s first elevated rail route will go underground from the very first station — Bandra.

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Proposed stretch for the elevated rail route from Bandra Terminus. Pic/Shadab Khan
Proposed stretch for the elevated rail route from Bandra Terminus. Pic/Shadab Khan

Western Railway (WR), in its feasibility report for the rail corridor, has informed there will be 5 underground, 8 elevated and 5 grade level stations in the Rs 19,052 crore project. Also, 6-car air-conditioned trains will operate on this rail route between Bandra and Virar.

A WR official said, “We wanted to reduce private land and property acquisition, so we are opting for an underground route wherever possible. Unlike elevated and grade level stations, the platforms will be situated in the centre in underground stations.

The underground will go all the way till Andheri from Bandra.” He also said the rail corridor will begin from the north end of Mahim, which will be used for reversing trains.

Route map
After Andheri, it will be an elevated route from Jogeshwari to Borivli, following which it will go underground again, the report says. “We will be acquiring 30 hectares of salt pan land at Mira Road for car depot,” the official added.

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From Dahisar to Bhayander the rail lines will be at grade level — running parallel to the existing system. And from there, it will be a combination of elevated and grade level platforms as the route cuts across creeks all the way till Virar. Sources said railway authorities are acquiring 4.62 lakh sq m of land for the entire 48 km-corridor.

The report states the elevated corridor is expected to become operational by 2022 and it would cater to around 5.51 lakh people every day, on this route.

“We expect around 23.5% shift — both from first and second class commuters — to this elevated rail line,” said a senior Western Railway official.

Time bound
The railways are planning to run these train services for 19 hours in a day (5 am to midnight), with a central terminal at Dahisar.

The trains would run at 34 kmph in the Bandra-Dahisar section and 36 kmph in the Dahisar-Virar section, ferrying up to 23,000 people per hour per direction (PHPDT) on Bandra-Dahisar stretch.

The headway between two trains is 5 minutes on the Bandra-Dahisar stretch and 10 minutes on the Dahisar-Virar route, according to the report. WR chief PRO Ravindra Bhakar said, “It will take at least a year before work starts on this elevated corridor.”