Mumbai: Harbour line trades speed for space

When 12-car rakes will be introduced on CST-Panvel route, commuters would get 33 per cent more space with less speed as stations on this route are close to each other

Harbour line services bagged a bargain that will offer more space for less speed when the new 12-car rakes are introduced on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) — Panvel route. The Central Railway has said this addition of three more cars, which would increase the carrying capacity of trains by 33 per cent, will delay the services.

With space being a long-standing demand on this route, CR has not completely ignored the speed factor as they plan to lift the 80 kmph speed ban
With space being a long-standing demand on this route, CR has not completely ignored the speed factor as they plan to lift the 80 kmph speed ban

Sources said the distance between railway stations on Harbour line is barely a kilometre or less and after the current 9-car rakes are upgraded to 12, the trains would hardly be able to speed up between stations. “Three more coaches would mean addition of 65 metres. By the time the train accelerates, the next station would arrive thus restricting the speed,” said a CR official.

To maintain punctuality standards, the authorities have decided to lift the 80 kmph speed ban and let the trains catch up by accelerating to 100 kmph between Mankhurd to Panvel where the distance is more.

Rock ruckus
A rock next to a platform at Dockyard station poses a danger to the 12-15 hutments nearby but the people living there have been demanding rehabilitation to Oshiwara. This platform is meant for trains going towards Panvel.

“Since rehabilitation would be an expensive project to undertake, we have come up with a solution. We have decided to put strong iron fencing around the rock to restrain pieces of rock from collapsing,” said an official.

12 cars soon
“The work of upgrading trains at Dockyard station is expected to end within a fortnight. After this, the first 12-car will roll out,” said Amitabh Ojha, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway. It would take at least 3 months for the entire fleet to have 12 cars. The CR needs nine 12-car rakes to convert this fleet of 36 rakes in order to make provision for 2-3 lakh more people commuting from the satellite town of Navi Mumbai.

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