Why trains are getting delayed on Mumbai's Western Railway network

Updated: Nov 13, 2014, 14:52 IST | Shashank Rao |

Steep curve in the tracks at Virar end of Borivli station is big contributor to local train delays across WR network; file to transfer plot that can help straighten the track stuck with BMC

One of the key solutions to Western Railway’s problem of local train delays is lying in its backyard, but it can’t access it thanks to procedural delays, as the land belongs to the BMC. 

Wait goes on: The curve in the track (circled) at the Virar end of Borivli station. WR officials say delays on the network will come down once they get possession of the plot from the BMC. FILE PIC

WR needs a 144 sq m (1,550 sq ft) plot next to Borivli station to ease the gradient of a steep curve in the tracks at the Virar end, which delays local trains coming from that direction. Railway sources said that trains coming from Virar and headed towards Churchgate usually have to wait at least 5-7 minutes before entering Borivli, which is a big problem, especially during peak hours, when the headway between two trains is 3 minutes. This, coupled with the delays caused due to the movement of long-distance trains, has a cascading effect on local train schedules across the WR network.

The curve is especially steep in the track which leads to platform 6A of Borivli, preventing it from being used too much. Platforms 6 and 6A are divided by a single track and are used by only four and 12 trains respectively. During the morning peak hours, most local trains are forced to use platform 3 and 5, and trains headed towards Borivli have to wait for those ahead of them to vacate the platforms.

To straighten the tracks and reduce the delay significantly, WR needs to use the 144 sq m plot next to platform 6A,
which is owned by the BMC. “We want to lessen the degree of curve on this end of Borivli station, which is causing problems for the smooth running of trains. Once we get this plot, the delays in train operations will come down,” said a WR official on condition of anonymity.

WR wants to use the plot to reduce the degree of the curve of the track leading to platforms 6 and 6A and modify the signalling system. They can also connect this track to the one leading to platform 5, to enable trains coming from Virar to enter platforms 5, 6 and 6A without having to wait. This will lead to smoother movement and also allow WR authorities to add additional train services in the future.

“The file for acquiring this plot is lying with the BMC. We are ready to give them a plot of the same size in exchange,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.

BMC Additional Municipal Commissioner S V R Srinivas said, “We are at an advance stage of approvals for this plot. We are examining the other plot from the traffic point of view”.

The number of local trains arriving at, and departing from, Borivli every day

Number of platforms in Borivli station

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