A new Harbour rake that was to be rolled out on Monday was cancelled after major lack of communication within Central Railway officialdom
More local train services is a change that has always been welcomed by authorities as well as commuters, but that’s not what happened after an additional rake was announced for the Harbour line on Saturday.
With trains on Harbour line already running late due to power conversion, CR officials said this new train might further delay services and reduce headway. File pic
With trains on this route already running late due to power conversion, Central Railway officials said this new train, which was to cater to around 10 lakh commuters with its 10 services on Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Panvel route, might further delay services and reduce headway for trains.
But the entire matter turned out to be a case of complete lack of communication when CR officials expressed their concerns to SK Sood, General Manager of CR, who made the announcement, in a series of meetings in the last two days. Though Sood had earlier said this rake would to be launched on Monday, it was cancelled yesterday after he was informed that the new 12-car trains, which he thought would take another six months, would be rolled out on April 30.
“The GM was not apprised of the development on the 12-car at Dockyard station. Now, that the work is expected to end soon, we wouldn’t be adding one additional rake on Harbour line,” said Amitabh Ojha, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), CR.
Railway sources said since trains are currently in the process of adopting the recently released new timetable with 40 new services — 11 services on the Main line, seven on Harbour and 22 on Trans-Harbour. “At present the schedule is getting adjusted to the new timetable. There is no scope of suddenly adding one more rake offering 10 more services out of the blue,” said a CR official.
Also, they said punctuality would have taken a hit if this train had rolled out. Currently, trains on the CST-Panvel Harbour line are 89-91 per cent punctual, which is better than the Main line where they have touched an 84-86 per cent mark. Headway too might have been a cause of concern. Since the time between two trains on Harbour line is four minutes, officials said that if these new 10 services were added it would have affected the headway as well.
“In the last couple of days, train operation on this line has been facing trouble due to teething troubles after power up gradation to 25,000 volt,” said another CR official.
The number of commuters that the new train on the Harbour line would have accommodated during peak hours