More than half a century back in 1961, there were celebrations at Churchgate railway station for the inauguration of the first 9-car train operating on the suburban section of Western Railway (WR). Five decades later, only one such 9-car train remains in operation on the WR.
According to sources in the WR, on November 15, an internal proposal to convert two more 9-car trains into 12-car ones was mooted. There were three 9-car trains running on the suburban section at the time.
“This is expected to get cleared soon and by November 20, only one 9-car train will be operated by us,” said a WR official on condition of anonymity. In December last year, there were seven 9-car services that were gradually converted to 12-car.
Earlier, there were 77 local trains running on the Churchgate-Virar suburban section. After the conversion, there are 75 12-car trains, and one each of 9-car and 15-car trains. The 12-car trains now run 1116 services everyday, while the 15-car and 9-car trains operate 14 and 16 services respectively.
Confirming the development, the spokesperson for WR, Sharat Chandrayan said, “It will be an end of an era, that ran on the suburban section for years together.”
However, officials added that technically, the remaining 9-car train would not operate on the full 63 km stretch of the WR between Virar and Churchgate. “The last 9-car train will only run on the Andheri-CST stretch, which is the Harbour line. We have to run it on Harbour till all the platforms on this route are extended to accommodate 12-car trains,” said an official. Extension of platforms on the CST-Andheri route has been halted due to the lack of sufficient space.
Mahesh Kumar, general manager, WR said, “By January 2013, 55 additional services will be added on the Western Railway that would accommodate nearly 5 lakh more commuters. Three more trains will be added in December, including a 15-car train and two 12-car trains.” He added, “This would also increase ladies special trains by two more services taking the total ladies special train services to eight. Only one 9-car train will run on the Andheri-CST Harbour line.”
Did you know?
By converting a 9-car to 12-car, there will be an addition of 33 per cent more space for commuters. Presently a 12-car train carries around 4,500 commuters per hour per direction during peak hours, while a 9-car carries around 3,500 commuters per hour per direction.
1961 The year in which 9-car trains were introduced on the WR
55 Additional services to be added on WR by January 2013