WR brings Dahanu closer to Mumbai today

MUMBAI: Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) suburban services on the Western Railway (WR) will cover the 124 km between Churchgate and Dahanu Road from now.

Today, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal is scheduled to inaugurate local train operations between the two stations. There will be 20 services to and from Dahanu Road daily.

So far, EMU services on WR would run only on the 60 km stretch between Churchgate and Virar.

Bansal will flag off the first local train from Dahanu Road to Churchgate in the presence of CM Prithviraj Chavan at 10.10am. The train will arrive at Churchgate at 12.58 pm.

WR chief public relations officer Sharat Chandrayan said full-scale operations will commence from Wednesday. “On April 16, besides the train flagged off by the minister, two services each will operate in Up and Down direction between Virar and Dahanu Road and Dadar and Dahanu Road,” Chandrayan said.

Of the 20 EMU services to and from Dahanu, 15 are new services. Two shuttle trains running between Dahanu Road and Borivli have been replaced by EMUs and extended up to Churchgate. Two EMU services between Dadar and Virar and one between Churchgate and Virar will extend till Dahanu.

With these changes, EMU operations will cater to eight more stations. Besides the EMU services, four mainline electric multiple unit services (MEMU) that run between Dahanu Road and Virar have been extended to Dadar.

The first suburban service on the WR was started by its forerunner, the Bombay, Baroda and Central India (BB&CI) Railway, and ran on steam traction between Backbay and Virar from April 12, 1867. It was another 60 years before the first EMU service was introduced on te BB&CI.

“In 1928, a three-coach EMU service was introduced between Andheri and Colaba, a major terminal that two years later ceased to be a station as Churchgate was commissioned as a new suburban terminus,” a WR official said.

In the absence of direct EMU services north of Virar, commuters between Vaitarna had to interchange trains to travel by Multi Eletrical Multii line Eletrical Main Line services or shuttle services operated with conventional coach used in long distance trains.”

WR had planned to begin services up to Dahanu by the end of 2012-13, but the launch was delayed.

“These services will run as slow trains between Dahanu and Virar, but convert to fast on the Churchgate-Borivli stretch. The number of services, too, will increase, depending on the availability of rakes,” a senior WR official said. “We had to hand over rakes to the Central Railway as it had planned services between Thane and Kasara and Thane and Kalyan, so we were had to wait till the completion of retro-fitment of rakes to cater to the Virar-Dahanu commuters.”

Timetable For Today
10.10 am: Dahanu Road-Virar
12:15 pm: Virar-Dahanu Road
6 pm: Dadar-Dahanu Road
3.25 pm: Dahanu Road-Dadar
8.45 pm: Dahanu Road-Virar
Peak Hour Trains From Apr 17
From Dahanu: 7:15am (to Churchgate), 8.30am (to Borivli), 10.05am (to Virar), 12.42pm (to Churchgate)
To Dahanu: 3.22pm (from Churchgate), 6pm (from Dadar)

WR Milestones
1864: Bombay, Baroda and Central India (BB&CI) Railway train reaches Mumbai, runs between Grant Road and Valsad. BB&CI was the forerunner of WR
1867: Virar-Backbay suburban service commences; BB&CI runs one train in each direction every day
1870: Churchgate station opened
1873: Colaba Terminus commissioned
1928: Three-coach EMU service introduced between Andheri and Colaba
1930: Colaba station closed. Churchgate becomes new suburban terminus

WR Local Services Over The Years (Year Services per day Passengers per day)
1867 6 No data
1990-91 866 23 lakh
1991-92 900 25 lakh
2000-01 961 28.2 lakh
Apr 16, 2013 1,305 36 lakh