Mumbai: Two options suggested for Harbour line expansion

Marathon meeting sessions between railways, MbPT, MRVC and other government transport bodies have resulted in suggestions for two routes which will terminate at Ballard Estate

Over the past few weeks, authorities from the railways, Mumbai Port Trust, Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation and various transport-related government authorities have been holding marathon meeting sessions to propagate the idea of terminating the newly proposed Harbour line at Ballard Estate.

Moreover, a couple of options were proposed during these meetings so that the new rail links increase the carrying capacity of the Harbour line, which is used by 10 lakh commuters daily. While new stations at Sewri, Reay Road, Carnac Bunder, Indira Dock and Ballard Pier have been proposed, officials said that the existing platforms 1 and 4 at Wadala were capable of handling rail traffic towards Andheri.

Similarly, platforms 2 and 3 could take care of the traffic towards Panvel. Officials claimed that the new line could pass through the Eastern Freeway and land on P D’Mello Road. From there, it can run close to Indira Dock and connect with Ballard Estate. “This 9-km-long rail alignment can be implemented within two years,” an official, who has been part of the meetings, said.

Sources claimed that the decision was mulled to accommodate the fifth and sixth lines on the CST-Kurla stretch, as land availability is a big issue. The proposed options will allow long-distance trains to bypass tracks used by fast trains between CST and Kalyan, which in turn will increase the number of services on the Harbour line.

Option 1
Routes proposed
>> Ballard Estate-Wadala-Bandra-Andheri
>> CST-Wadala-Kurla-Panvel

How it will work
If this option is implemented, the Harbour line passing through Andheri will begin at Ballard Estate, while the line for Navi Mumbai will start from CST and go all the way to Panvel.

The two lines will merge at Wadala, so that commuters can switch trains as per their convenience. Moreover, additional pairs of tracks between P D’Mello Road and Eastern Freeway are being considered as a feasible option.

These tracks will align till Ballard Estate. For this, authorities will require a 20-meter strip of MbPT land for rail alignment from Ballard Estate to Wadala. The idea has been proposed as part of the integrated master plan for development of the MbPT.

Option 2
Routes proposed
>> Ballard Estate-Wadala-Bandra-Andheri
>> Ballard Estate-Dockyard Road-Wadala-Kurla-Panvel

How it will work
Here, the Harbour line is expected to terminate at Ballard Estate and utilise the existing facilities to develop fifth and sixth lines between CST and Sandhurst Road. Services on this route will go to to Andheri via Wadala, and to Panvel via Dockyard Road and Wadala.

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