Existing 35-year-old ROB will be pulled down; project is part of the multi-crore plan to add two more rail lines — fifth and sixth — between Borivli and Mumbai Central to facilitate long-distance trains
In an attempt to improve the efficiency of its suburban services, the Western Railway (WR) has planned to demolish the existing Rail Over Bridge (ROB) between Khar and Bandra.
The existing bridge will be demolished only after the ROB is commissioned, claimed WR authorities. Pic/Nimesh Dave
This demolition is part of the multi-crore plan to add two more rail lines — fifth and sixth — between Borivli and Mumbai Central to facilitate long-distance trains. Sources from WR claimed the authorities want to demolish the existing ROB, which runs for almost 500 m, and replace it with a better one.
This project is worth Rs 36 crore. They added the old bridge would be demolished once the new ROB is commissioned. Confirming the development, Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), WR, said, “It [old ROB] will be replaced by a new bridge between the two stations.”
A senior officer from WR claimed that the construction of the new bridge is likely to commence in the next two months and take at least two years for completion. He added that the new bridge would be constructed 50 metres away from the existing one, closer to Khar, without changing the alignment.
The officer said the decision to demolish the existing ROB after the construction of the new one was taken to ensure that Harbour line services remain unaffected. The new bridge will sport a zigzag design, due to lack of space, as it will pass over a cemetery, a religious structure and private land.
As per the new proposal, the alignment of tracks for the fifth and sixth lines are likely to change from Mahim. There already exists an additional stabling line near Mithi River Bridge — where rakes are currently parked during nighttime — and tracks here would be tweaked to join the new lines.
Gradually, all the tracks will be tweaked towards the west side and additional space will be created on the east side for accommodating fifth and sixth lines. Moreover, the space beneath the existing ROB between Khar and Bandra will be utilised for laying fifth and sixth lines.
With the new structure being constructed away from the existing one and sporting a zigzag design, the WR officials have ensured that the existing platforms on the Harbour line remain untouched.
An incomplete fifth line already exists from Mumbai Central to Mahim and Santacruz to Borivli. In the past, WR authorities tried to fix the missing link between Mahim and Santacruz on a temporary-basis.
To do so authorities planned to operate the line passing via Bandra Terminus. However, the proposal faced opposition from the locals who refused to part with a private road leading to a religious structure.
Sources claim the temporary line was planned for operating long-distance trains to bring efficacy to the suburban network. “Since the issue remains unsolved, about R12 crore of public money got wasted,” said a WR official.
The year in which the existing ROB between Khar and Bandra was constructed
Number of services operated by the WR on its suburban network daily