Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation plans direct rail link between Kalyan and Navi Mumbai

Mumbai: The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has drawn up an ambitious plan to provide direct suburban rail connectivity between Navi Mumbai and Kalyan and beyond via the trans-harbour network of the Central Railway (CR). At present, the trans-harbour service operates on the Thane-Vashi-Nerul-Panvel stretch via Airoli, Ghansoli and Rabale.”There is no seamless connectivity between Kalyan and Navi Mumbai. Commuters have to change trains at Thane to travel towards Navi Mumbai or Kalyan. This also leads to congestion at Thane station,” MRVC managing director Rakesh Saksena told.

“After the project is completed, we can run at least 40 services between Navi Mumbai and Kalyan. A 2-km-long viaduct will have to be built near Parsik tunnel. It would cost around Rs.300 crore, but final estimates and the deadline are yet to be worked out,” he said.

The CR runs 210 services on the trans-harbour network, of which four are fast services. The average number of passengers on the trans-harbour network is estimated to increase by 10% annually because of affordable housing in Kalyan-Ambernath-Badlapur belt and the growth of industrial and service sectors in Navi Mumbai. A direct Kalyan-Navi Mumbai link will reduce overcrowding on the main line as well as on the trans-harbour corridor.

“After completion of the project, commuters from Kalyan and Navi Mumbai will not have to travel by the main line to Thane. Due to migration of commuters on the Kalyan-Navi Mumbai route, the Thane trans-harbour services will have more space,” said a CR official.

Saksena said plans are afoot to build a ramp between Airoli and Thane to link the network to the fifth and sixth lines, which are being built between Thane and Diva. The ramp or viaduct will criss-cross the main line fast corridor and mail/express corridor.

The fifth and sixth lines exist between Kurla-Thane and Diva-Kalyan. The two additional lines are being built on the extreme west side of the main line corridor between Thane and Diva. After completion, they will cater exclusively to express and goods train traffic from Kalyan to Kurla and later up to Parel. This will free up the existing four lines and allow CR to introduce more suburban services.