MRVC proposes to extend Harbour Line services up to Virar on western suburbs

मुंबई Mumbai: The city’s railway development body has proposed to extend Harbour line services up to Virar on the western suburbs though work is already on to extend it up to Goregaon.

Work on extending the corridor up to Goregaon, which was expected to be completed by May 2014, has been delayed because a small portion of land is not yet handed over to the MRVC. The project is now expected to be completed before the onset of monsoon.

“Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation put the proposal to extend Harbour line corridor before the railway minister and chief minister on Thursday. If the clear the proposal, we can commission a feasibility study,” said a senior railway official.

At present, Harbour line services, which are managed by Central Railway, operate between CST-Andheri and CST-Panvel; some trains also ply between Panvel and Andheri via Wadala.

“The project is important is it will provide direct suburban railway connectivity between the northern end of the westerns suburbs and satellite townships to Navi Mumbai and stations on the Harbour line. At present, these commuters have to change trains at Andheri to travel to stations on the Harbour line,” said another railway official.

As land is expected to be constraint, an MRVC official suggested that the corridor could be partially elevated at places where there’s lack of space.

The official added that the railway ministry can also consider an independent corridor between Andheri-Virar if the extension is not acceptable. He said that the Andheri-Virar corridor would have premium fares as the trains would be air-conditioned on the lines of Metro corridor. The railway ministry is already keen on building high-speed corridor between CST-Panvel through foreign direct investment.

In a related development, MRVC is augmenting nine-car trains to 12-car ones on Harbour line. The project is expected to be completed within a year.