Wait continues for better services on Harbour line
CR officials say conversion from DC to AC only possible by first quarter of 2015; power upgradation means improved services
Though the first electric motor unit (EMU) local train first chugged off from platform 1 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in 1925, which is now used for running suburban services on Harbour line till Panvel, it will be the last of three railway lines to get technical upgradation. As per the plans chalked out by the Central Railway (CR), the process of power upgradation from the existing 1,500-volt Direct Current (DC) to 25,000-volt Alternating Current (AC) on the Harbour line will take place only in the first quarter of 2015.
CR officials say one of the main problems for power upgradation is unavailability of trains that can run on DC/AC current. File pic
“As of now, we are aiming to complete work on the main line till CST, followed by the Harbour line. Under present circumstances, this is expected to happen only by March-April 2015,” said a senior CR official. Although the details of the plans are awaited, sources claimed the power conversion would occur in a phased manner. This means that the CR authorities would be completing upgradation from CST to Govandi in phase I, followed by the entire Navi Mumbai region.
One of the main problems is the unavailability of trains that can run on DC/AC current. Currently, the CR run 36 rakes on the Harbour line on 1,500-volt. The rakes provide 583 services a day on the 60-km-long CST-Panvel route. Nearly 10 lakh people travel on the Harbour line daily. Power upgradation means improved services, faster commute, better trains and reduction in delays in the future. Presently, Harbour line is known for old rickety trains with an average age of 15 years. All of them are nine-car ones. The process of converting them into 12-car is underway.
Trains on Harbour line
Number of coaches in each train
No of services on CST-Panvel route
First EMU train to run on Harbour line