The daily drudgery of fighting your way in and out of packed trains might be a thing of the past soon. If all goes well, the Central and Western Railway might bring in short-distance trains.
The short-distance trains can be best explicated as trains that ply between Dadar and Ghatkopar or Kurla and Dombivli on the Central line, and, Churchgate and Dadar or Bandra and Nallasopara on the Western line.
The idea was discussed in a meeting held by the Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC) and many members were positive about it. “The implementation of short-distance trains in suburban section will facilitate lakhs of passengers on a daily basis,” said Anil Tiwari, a member of the DRUCC, who has been demanding for such trains since a long time.
“Right now, a passenger who has to alight at Bandra has to board the Virar local due to the unavailability of short-distance locals in the suburban section. Railway authorities were also agreeable and promised to carry out the trial for such trains in a month’s time. I will be tracking the issue until the policy gets implemented,” he added.
An official from Western Railway also echoed Tiwari’s sentiments. “The concept of short-distance trains has been appreciated by many officials. However, implementation will take time as the timetable for the suburban section will have to be modified.”
However, Subodh Jain, General Manager, Central Railway, put a dampener on the excitement. “There was a mention that more trains to Ghatkopar should be introduced. However, no formal demand has been made by any member or association,” he said.
Will it work?
The concept has been appreciated a lot by passengers. Anurag Samanta from Nallasopara said that it was very difficult for him and thousands of passengers to even board and get down at a certain location.
“Times have changed. Lakhs commute to and from Nallasopara daily. I board the train back from Bandra and I intentionally travel late so that I can go a bit comfortably. The passengers to Virar already occupy the seats and we have no place to even stand,” he lamented.
Around 70 lakh people travel on the Central and Western line on a daily basis.
Total train services on Central and Harbour lines
Total train services on Western line