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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Now freight trains want to share local tracks

Mumbai: Now freight trains want to share local tracks!

Updated on: 13 October,2022 07:10 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Rajendra B. Aklekar | rajendra.aklekar@mid-day.com

Despite city having no space for even a single additional suburban local, Railway Board asks Mumbai officials to identify freight infrastructure on same routes within three weeks!

Mumbai: Now freight trains want to share local tracks!

The freight EMU will be the first of its kind in the 169-year history of the Indian Railways. Representation pic

Even as there is a freeze on the introduction of new local trains and additional services for the past few years due to the city’s already-packed suburban network, the Railway Board has asked Mumbai managers to accommodate a new type of freight train, similar to that of local trains, within three weeks. First announced in the budget, the freight EMU will be the first of its kind in the 169-year history of the Indian Railways


However, the challenge of path availability in the Mumbai region may prove to be a hindrance.


Local trains near Dadar station on the Western Railway. Pic/Ashish RajeLocal trains near Dadar station on the Western Railway. Pic/Ashish Raje


Additional track upgrades on the Virar-Dahanu and Parel-Kurla sections in the Mumbai region, apart from the remodelling of the Kalyan yard and more lines beyond Kalyan are underway, but the pace has been very slow. Ideally, the new class of trains can be taken on the Dedicated Freight Corridor lines that are being linked to Mumbai at the JNPT, but it may still take a few years to complete.

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The railway board has now written to Mumbai officials directing them to identify and create the necessary infrastructure and facilities for the freight EMUs within the next three weeks. A copy of the letter, accessed by mid-day, states that based on the interactions with some of the potential customers, the first service is to be introduced between Delhi-NCR and Mumbai region.

Commuters wait to board a local at Dombivli station, on February 5. Pic/Satej Shinde	Commuters wait to board a local at Dombivli station, on February 5. Pic/Satej Shinde    

The Central Railway runs 1,810 local services a day, while the Western Railway operates 1,383 suburban services, including 79 AC and 112 Harbour services. As per initial plans, the Railway Ministry is looking at designing, manufacturing and procuring 25 sets of Freight EMUs at a cost of R60 crore per set. “Each set shall comprise 16 cars [coaches]. This will be usually longer than regular EMUs that we see in Mumbai where trains are usually 12-car or 15-car each,” said a railway official.

While local railway officials did not offer immediate comments, they said that JNPT was the most probable link where such trains could be run and use the Panvel-Diva-Vasai section to move them to the north, avoiding suburban lines. Sources said the operational speed potential of these trains will be 160 kmph.

The freight trains will have a pneumatically retractable roller floor system with locking arrangements for easy handling of pallets (portable rigid platform to ferry loads) and provision for loading of reefer containers for temperature-sensitive cargo.

1,810
Daily local services on CR

1,383
Daily suburban services on WR

Rs 60cr
Cost of each freight EMU

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