Mumbai: Railways plan to fast-track 12-car locals into 15-car trains in the next 5 years

Updated: Dec 15, 2018, 20:21 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

The 12-car ones will be passe; all trains in Mumbai to have 15 compartments within next five years, works to the tune of Rs 483 crore proposed for this

The Central Railway has worked on a three-phased plan to convert all trains to 15-cars to carry more passengers. Representation pic
The Central Railway has worked on a three-phased plan to convert all trains to 15-cars to carry more passengers. Representation pic

Both the railways in Mumbai have fast-tracked their plans to phase-wise convert their fleet of local trains to 15-car ones from the existing 12-car. All trains in Mumbai will be converted into 15-car services within the next five years.

Three-phase plan
The Central Railway has worked on a three-phased plan to convert all trains to 15-cars. Considering the urgency of the issue, works to the tune of R483 crore have been proposed. "This will increase the carrying capacity by a whopping 25%. The three phases are: Kalyan-Badlapur, Kalyan-Asangaon and the third, Asangaon-Kasara and Badlapur-Karjat/Khopoli," said a senior CR official.

An official said CR Mumbai Division's suburban system presently operates 856 services on the main line's suburban and through corridors with 79 rakes in service. It includes 16 services of one 15-car train. Even after running these services, there is a persistent demand to further augment them particularly during peak hours due to a heavy rush.

As the present services run with a headway of 4 minutes, further increase in frequency of services is not feasible. However, more passengers can be accommodated by increasing the number of coaches in composition of EMU trains.

Matching civil infrastructure
Running of 15-car services will require matching augmentation in civil infrastructure in addition to formation of 15-car rakes. "Presently the infrastructure to handle 15-car services is available only on the fast corridor between CSMT and Kalyan, on which the 16 services are operated. Further addition in 15-car services will be possible only after developing the infrastructure beyond Kalyan, upto Kasara and Khopoli. It is only after development of matching infrastructure at stations beyond Kalyan that additional 15-car services can be introduced," the official added.

Similarly on Western Railway, work will be done in four phases, starting December 2018, in which two 15 compartment trains will operate between Andheri and Virar. This will lead to 24 new services of 15 compartment trains. As of now, WR Mumbai runs four 15-car trains which have 54 services.

A roof cover missing at a platform
A roof cover missing at a platform

Minister Goyal points to missing roof covers
After Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday night categorised missing roof covers at several stations as a safety issue, and instructed to place them as fast as possible, local officials have scrambled to fix pending works.

A number of stations in Mumbai are being upgraded, and whenever passenger amenities like a foot overbridge are added, the roof cover which is supposed to be removed temporarily, is sometimes never put back.

"Work on filling the gaps at all stations will start immediately as soon as funds arrive now that the work has been categorised as a safety requirement. For remote stations, a decision will be taken on the basis of footfalls etc. The railways have taken up replacing asbestos sheets at major stations like Kurla and Byculla. All the new station buildings and platforms are already getting the sheets and we are now phasing out the older ones slowly," said a senior railway official.

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