MUMBAI: Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) on Saturday conducted successful trial runs on the extended corridor between Andheri and Goregaon on the Harbour line. With this, work on the corridor has been completed and services are likely to commence by January.
A senior MRVC official said: “We will await the mandatory nod from the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) before notifying the public about the new timetable. The date of launch will be announced soon though it will be tentatively in January. This corridor will certainly benefit thousands of daily commuters.”
The railways will initially run skeletal services for about a month before introducing more services.
The project is a part of the second phase of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP-II) and is expected to ease pressure on the western line, which ferries around 35 lakh commuters a day.
“In case the CRS points out some flaw or demands certain changes along the corridor, this could delay the launch of services. However, we are confident that the work of laying tracks, signalling system and overhead equipment has been done meticulously and we should get the go-ahead soon,” said a senior official who did not wish to be named.
Sources said that, to begin with, only 23 services will originate from and terminate at Goregaon. Of these, 18 are Panvel-Andheri locals and the other five are CSMT-Andheri locals. The five services that to be extended to Goregaon will be run with a Western Railway rake. This rake is also used to run a lone service between CSMT and Borivli.
Railway officials are still working on the timetable as the departure and arrival timings will change at all stations because of extended run of services. The railways is considering extending all CSMT-Andheri services to Goregaon after extension of the Harbour line.
It also plans to shift almost 50% of Churchgate-Andheri services up to Goregaon. Almost 91 services operate between CSMT and Andheri.
After the extended corridor is thrown open for full fledged service, there will be no terminating platform at Andheri, sources said. At present, the railways operate 104 services up to Andheri, which includes 18 services that operate between Panvel and Andheri stations.
Central Railway plans 24 new Local Trains on two lines
After facing a series of problems, the over 12 lakh commuters on the Harbour and Trans Harbour lines can finally expect some good news as the Central Railway (CR) plans to add 24 new services on the two lines which could also include Bombardier rakes that are being inducted into the CR system for the first time.
This comes as a big respite to the commuters using the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Panvel (10 lakh daily) and Thane-Vashi (2 lakh daily) corridors. Sources said that with the four new Bombardier rakes coming in, not only will the commuters get newer rakes but also more services.
Confirming the same, SK Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway said, “We will be introducing 24 new services on the Harbour line by the end of this month.”
Currently, the CR operates 590 services on the Harbour line, 232 on the Trans Harbour line and 838 services on the Main line daily. Sources said that they are yet to decide the timetable for the same and that whether they would be immediately pushing the Bombardier rakes into the system. The officials said that they will hold a meeting soon wherein they will decide which rakes can be replaced and where additional services can be added.