Mumbai: In a first, the much ignored Harbour and Trans-Harbour line will get the first preference with respect to increase in the number of services over the Central Railway mainline.
The services are a part of the additional services announced in the Railway Budget last year by the former rail minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. A total of 72 services were announced, of which 50 services will be given to Western Railway (WR) and 22 will be given to Central Railway (CR). A major chunk of the 22 services will be from Panvel to CST, Panvel to Thane and Vashi to Thane.
A senior CR official, on the condition of anonymity said, “After we met the chairman of the Railway Board, we have been told that since the new Bombardier rakes will be commissioned on the WR by March, we will be getting some of WR’s old rakes, which we have decided to transfer to the Harbour and Trans-Harbour Line and increase the number of services during the peak hour.”
Chairman of Railway Board, Arunendra Kumar had said in his visit to the city on Friday that the new Bombardier rakes manufactured in Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF) will be put into regular operations by the end of March.
In the comparative growth seen on the Harbour Line from April to October of 2012 and 2013, Govandi has seen an increase in ticket sales by 20 per cent as the number of passengers increased by 16 per cent.
Johar Vora, chairman of Panvel Pravasi Sangh said, “This decision of increase in services from CST to Panvel and Panvel/Vashi to Thane should have come a long time ago. We have been trying to meet officials to talk about the Harbour Line as it is the most ignored line.”
Railway activist Lata Argade said, “CR needs to think about distributing the services to commuters travelling to places like Diva, Badlapur and Ambernath also require more services.”