Glitches on CR’s Mainline and Harbour line to continue till November

commuters on CR Harbour lineMumbai:  There have been frequent failures in the Central Railway’s (CR) mainline as well as the Harbour line.

The officials are pointing their fingers at the simultaneous work of converting the Harbour line coaches from nine to 12, and the electrical conversion of the line from Direct Current (DC) to Alternate Current (AC) as the two main reasons for the delay.

Officials said that these glitches would continue till November. “Unfortunately, we have been asked to do both the 12-coach and alternate current work almost together, which is why there are figuratively and literally too many fires to put out,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

The officials are also in a hurry to complete the conversion to 12 coaches in the Harbour line before August 15.

However, railway activist Subhash Gupta refuted the claims. “There has been no addition of any new services in sections like CST-Kalyan lines in the past two years, so it’s unlikely they have the pressure of more services,” said Mr Gupta.

About the recent failures in the services, Mr Gupta said that the work on the Harbour line should not have affected the mainline. “It is unlikely that work on the Harbour line is affecting the mainline.

The conversion on the mainline has occurred almost a year ago, so they had time to get that system in place at least,” he added.

CR Harbour lineThe most recent failure was seen on Tuesday evening when the fluctuation of the power in the overhead wire at Kopar caused all fast line trains to run only up to Kalyan for more than three hours.

On the Harbour line, the 12-coach rake is now running 14 services on the line currently. Commuters complained of not enough services during peak hours. “The 12-coach train is a welcome move. But there are no services between 8 am and 10 am to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or between 5 pm and 7 pm,” said Gagan Vohra, a railway activist.

Work is also underway to extend the Harbour line up to Goregaon. The project will cost ₹1.03 billion (US$15 million) and is expected to be completed by December 2016. Further extension of this line has been accepted under MUTP III till Borivali. Harbour line services will be converted to 12-car by December 2016. This is expected to increase the carrying capacity of the Harbour line by nearly 33%. The core project will cost ₹7.50 billion and about 153 more coaches will be required.

Harbour line faces the chronic problem of old rakes, with some of them being older than 30 years. According to the Central Railway, of the 72 new Bombardier AC traction rakes being procured, the Harbour line would be given 36 of them, on a priority basis, once the DC to AC traction is completed by mid-2015.

CR has sought permission from the Railway Board to run EMUs on the Harbour line between Kurla and Shivajinagar in Pune. The service would provide direct connectivity between Navi Mumbai and Pune, which is currently not available. EMUs will be modified to include six motor cars.

CR plans to use 16 coach mail/express trains to cover the 170 km distance in approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes. Stations on the line will be Kurla, Vashi, Belapur, Panvel, Karjat, Lonavla and Shivajinagar.

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