Jostling for space and struggling to get inside trains on the Western line might soon be a thing of the past, with officials announcing 51 new services, another 15-car train and extended services till Dahanu by March end. On Saturday, changes and other details were discussed during a meeting with Vinay Mittal, chairman, Railway Board.
Presently, there are over 1,200 services operated by the Western Railway (WR) ferrying 32 lakh people and the addition of new services will ease the burden on the trains. Additionally, WR officials have purchased three new rakes at the cost of Rs 24 crore each, which run on 25,000 volt AC power.
Apart from these new introductions, the WR will also start the much-required Virar-Dahanu services by March end. The service has been pending for the last two years owing to pending construction work.
The suburban trains will run a distance of 120 km starting from Churchgate, and would provide direct connectivity to areas beyond Virar such as Vaitarna, Saphala, Palghar, Umroli, Boisar, Vangaon and Dahanu. Also, another 15-car trains would be added to the fleet and two new ladies’ specials would be added too.
Apart from these changes, the three new trains that were procured have two entry and exit doors in the women’s compartment instead of the conventional three. The luggage compartment adjacent to the women’s compartment has been shifted to the carriage behind it. WR general manager Mahesh Kumar said that after considering suggestions from commuters, necessary changes would be made before procuring seven new trains in the months to come.
However, it wasn’t all good news. The chance of Mumbai getting air-conditioned train services in the suburban sections seems bleak. The railways will be operating only one AC train on an experimental basis. “Each train carried around 4,000 people. An air-conditioned train would take away the path of other trains and so, we will introduce only one train on an experimental basis,” said Vinay Mittal, chairman, Railway Board.
Railways have categorically said that safety of passengers rests with the state government
Mittal said that legally the state government is responsible for safety of commuters
RPF will only coordinate with the state police and will provide safety at stations