“It is an important milestone in the Indian Railway history. The Parsik Tunnel has helped in segregation of long-distance and suburban railway traffic,” said Narendra Patil said, CR’s Chief Public Relations Officer.
CR officials said work on the the 1.3-km tunnel, which is located between Kalwa and Mumbra, started in 1913, but they are not sure of the exact date it was inaugurated. Engineers vouch that the tunnel is engineering marvel as it would have been difficult to undertake such work in those days when technology was not so advanced. Though built a century ago, the tunnel has not witnessed instability yet.
“The tunnel is approximately 10m wide and 6m in height. The rock mass is massive basaltic in origin,” said a CR official. “It takes around 30 minutes to travel from Thane to Kalyan via the slow corridor. However, on the fast corridor, via Parsik Tunnel, the distance can be covered in just 20 minutes.”
The Great Indian Peninsular Railway Company was formed in 1849, and first railway line between Mumbai and Thane was opened for traffic on April 16, 1853. However, the quadrupling of the route up to Kalyan had to wait till the completion of this additional tunnel till 1916.
Most of the fast locals coming from Kalyan or from Mumbai bypass through the Parsik Tunnel which is 1.3 km in length and it was once the third largest tunnel of Asia. This tunnel lies on the fast track and has one entry and one exit point in Mumbra. It is the first railway tunnel that was built in India and is more than hundred years old, by the British Empire. It is in the SahyadriRanges of Maharashtra and those hills are known as Parsik Hills.