Central as well as Western Railways plan to speed up certain fast trains by limiting the number of halts; will also add new services
Whille the so-called fast trains reach the destination just 10-15 minutes before the slow ones, the Central and Western Railways are mulling over introducing super-fast trains with fewer halts to provide a headway to others and a scope to introduce more trains.
These super-fast trains will help WR and CR introduce more services and improve their operation. File Pic
WR tried it
The Western Railway had held a two-day trial run in February when Churchgate-Borivli fast trains didn’t stop between Andheri and Borivli, skipping Jogeshwari, Goregaon, Malad and Kandivli stations. Though necessary announcements were made about the experiment, the commuters seemed rather miffed with the sudden change.
mid-day had reported about WR’s plan on January 9, ‘Soon, fast trains may not stop between Andheri and Borivli’. The train, which had started at 6.40 pm, ran behind a long-distance train to get more space and time for the experiment. While usually a train on this route takes 22 minutes, this one took 16 and the success prompted authorities to think that they can not only better operate services with this facility but also introduce new ones.
While the trial was a technical success, commuters gave a negative feedback for receiving no prior information on the trial. “We should have told people and spread the message before doing something like this. We are planning to do it again with changed timings and will keep the feedback in mind,” said a WR official.
Of WR’s 1,306 services, 119 currently are fast (64 up, 55 down), which stop at these four stations between Andheri and Borivli. Another 600 are slow, which stop at all stations. There are already 14 so-called super fast services, which do not stop between Borivli and Andheri during off-peak hours. “A political will is also needed for this project apart from the ability to take brickbats. This plan will surely give more opportunity to run additional services,” said a senior WR official.
CR plans too
The CR wants to go a step ahead and run its super-fast train from Kalyan or Dombivli right up to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus with may be one stop in between. Sources said that they are planning to introduce eight of these services during morning and evening peak hours.
The CR officials are currently trying to identify time periods when this operation would be feasible. “We want to start trains from Kalyan or Dombivli and end them directly at CST with a halt at Dadar as it is a vital station,” said SK Sood, general manager, Central Railway.
This project is also aimed at finding out if crowding in trains and at doors can be reduced. The third modified train with 2x2 seating will begin operation today.