Mumbai: Central Railway to decide if Chunabhatti level crossing can be shut

Updated: Nov 27, 2019, 07:35 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

The crossing is one of the busiest on the harbour line, closing it would speed up the movement of trains

The level crossing at Chunabhatti station holds up traffic for about 30 minutes every time it is closed
The level crossing at Chunabhatti station holds up traffic for about 30 minutes every time it is closed

With the new BKC-Chunabhatti flyover in place, the Central Railway (CR) now plans to check whether it is feasible to shut down one of the busiest level crossings at Chunabhatti station to speed up the movement of trains on the harbour line.

On a daily basis, the level crossing holds up a number of up and down trains, primarily during the peak traffic hours. As the harbour line has three consecutive level crossings at Sewri, Chunabhatti and Kurla (Chunabhatti being the busiest one), its closure will help save a lot of time and improve punctuality of trains.

While the BKC flyover crosses over the harbour line at Chunabhatti station, the level crossing is at the north end of the station. Railway officials said the proposal had been moved earlier and that they would soon start the process of finding whether shutting the level crossing was feasible.

"We will check the files and see if it is possible. But its closure will definitely help improve punctuality of suburban trains on the harbour line," a senior official said. According to a Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation report, about 87,000 passengers travel on the harbour line between 8-9 am and 1.01 lakh people travel between 6:30-7:30 pm.

How important a level crossing is, is found by measuring the train vehicle unit (TVU), which is obtained by multiplying the number of trains with the number of vehicles passing over the level crossing in 24 hours. In this case, trains, vehicles, bullock carts and even tongas are considered to be a single unit, whereas cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws are half units.

A periodical census of all level crossings is done once every three years for seven days. During such a census, the Chunabhatti crossing has been found to be one of the densest on the harbour line. On the main line, the ones at Diva and Kalwa are the busiest. Speaking to mid-day, Girish Talreja, a motorist said, "We have to wait for 30 minutes every time the level crossing at Chunabhatti closes for trains to pass."

87,000
No. of passengers travelling on harbour line between 8-9 am

1.01 lakh
No. of passengers travelling on harbour line between 6.30-7.30 pm

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