Rs 14-crore facelift for century-old railway bridge

The old two-lane structure connecting Elphinstone-Parel to make way for a new cable-stayed rail over bridge

In yet another redevelopment project, soon to be undertaken by the Western Railway (WR), the two-lane, century-old road over bridge (ROB) will be demolished and replaced by a steel frame ROB, connecting Elphinstone Road and Parel. According to the railway officials, the ROB's age is the main reason for its renovation.

When will it begin? The Western Railway is yet to decide a specific
date for the commencement of the work on the two-lane road over
bridge connecting Elphinstone-Parel. file pic

Sources from within the WR disclosed that considering the length of the stretch that the ROB would be covering, the new bridge would be a cable-stayed one. While there is no specific date set for the commencement of the work, the cost of construction is said to be around Rs 14 crore.

'Not so urgent'
"We will be carrying out this work, but not on an urgent basis," said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR. Besides, the officials said that they would have see to it that the construction work doesn't affect train services. "We will have to ensure that the trains function smoothly," said a WR official.

As per their earlier plans, the WR was supposed to raise the height of the proposed renovated bridge by a metre or so for smooth power conversion from 1,500-volt direct current (DC) to 25,000-volt alternating current (AC). However, the authorities are now working on a technology, wherein a special coil would be placed on top of the overhead cable and at the base of pantograph above the train that would be lowered, thus avoiding the need to increase the height of the bridge. Earlier, on the day when the Borivli-Andheri stretch was augmented to 25,000-volt AC, Mahesh Kumar, general manager, WR, had confirmed that power conversion would be carried out using the above-mentioned technology.

Cash crunch
Earlier, a plan had been chalked out to begin demolition work on the ROB by early-2012, but it was shelved due to paucity of funds.

The railway officials are hopeful that the forthcoming Union Railway Budget for 2012-13 would provide adequate funds to carry out these works.

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