Mumbai: Work on converting the existing railway line between Mumbai and Goa into the proposed semihigh-speed corridor has slowed down due to encroachments near the Roha Nagothane stretch. The encroached land was required for the expansion of tracks but the affected parties approached court, delaying the entire process. The railways are now planning to change the tracks’ alignment to avoid further delays.
Last year, the railway ministry had announced that it will convert a few corridors, including the Mumbai-Goa stretch, into semi-high-speed corridors to enable trains to run at speeds of up to 160kmph. While Konkan tracks ahead of Roha are can run trains at that speed, Central Railway (CR) had started upgrading its infrastructure before Roha to upgrade to those speeds. “As per the initial plan, the encroachments were to be removed and tracks were to be slewed [joined together] to increase the speed. But now the railways have decided divert the tracks and go by a different alignment altogether,” said a senior official.
Trains on the existing Mumbai-Goa Konkan railway stretch run at 100kmph at certain stretches and it takes about 12 hours to cover the distance. If 160kmph becomes achievable, the distance will be covered in a much lesser time. The railways are also in the process of conducting a final study on the high-speed Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor to start bullet trains.