New platforms, separate lines to decongest station part of the project. The first phase of the project has begun. The survey is over and the railways is working on finalising the layout for the project.
KALYAN: Five to six new platforms, realignment of tracks and separate lines for long-distance trains — these are some of the measures that the Central Railway will take to manage crowds and improve punctuality of trains at Kalyan railway station in the next two years.
The proposals are part of the Rs960-crore Kalyan station remodelling project. The project got a push after the Elphinstone Road railway station stampede in which 23 people were killed last year.
The first phase of the project has begun. The survey is over and the railways is working on finalising the layout for the project.
The new platforms will exclusively cater to long-distance trains and decongest exiting platforms that are also used by local and express train passengers.
Several offices and car sheds at the Kalyan yard have to be removed for the new platforms.
“Trains moving out of platform number 4,5 and 6 towards Titwala and Igatpuri block the movement of trains from platform number 2 and 3. The crisscross movement leads to delay on train schedule. Long-distance trains coming from Titwala will be diverted to new platform,” said a railway official.
Kalyan, which is also a junction, is one of the most crowded stations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and witnesses more than 850 local and long-distance trains daily.
“The design needs to be prepared and approved. There is a plan to build five to six new platforms. Once it is done, the tender process will begin. We expect to begin the actual work in three months,” added the officer.
Platform number 5 and 6 regularly witness chaos as they are used by local and express trains.
CR has initiated the work to segregate the 5th and 6th lines by developing new platforms at the Kalyan (East) yard.
“During the morning peak hours, it becomes difficult to stand on the platforms as there are many passengers waiting for mail trains with their luggage. Those who arrive to board a local fast or slow train have to struggle to find space,” said Mahesh Jagwani, 30, a commuter who takes a local from Kalyan to Dadar.
The project also involves revamping the formation of tracks, crossovers and platforms. Kalyan station is a central point for trains bound for Nashik and Pune, which divide here. The project will help ease the travel between Kalyan-Kasara, Kalyan-Karjat and Kalyan-CSMT.
“There are crossovers right at Kalyan station’s entrance, which force trains to change lines,” said a railway officer, from Kalyan railway station, who did not wish to be named.
The project also seeks to save time by doing away with the crisscross tracks.
Currently, trains heading towards Kasara, similar to Karjat-bound ones, arrive at the far-end of Kalyan, forcing them to cross lines. According to the railways, if the track formation is realigned, it can save at least two minutes per train.
The Kalyan junction caters to around 5 lakh commuters who take the long-distance trains, and around 3 lakh who commute by local trains daily. More than 2 lakh tickets are sold daily.
“The project is the need of the hour and it will be of great benefit to commuters and the railways. This will improve train services as more trains can be introduced. This will help improve punctuality,” said Shyam Ubale, general secretary, Kalyan-Kasara-Karjat Railway Passengers’ Association.