Commuters using harbour line trains to travel to the eastern suburbs or to Navi Mumbai can look forward to better services by the end of 2014.
Central Railway (CR) plans to increase the passenger carrying capacity of harbour line trains by about 33% by converting all nine-car rakes to 12-car ones. The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) plans on appointing Project Management Consultancy (PMC) to supervise the project.
The MRVC is aiming to finish the Rs715-crore project by the end of 2014, so that 12-car train services on the harbour line on both CST-Panvel and CST-Andheri routes can commence within two years.
“Our designs and drawings for relevant work are ready, tenders will be finalised by September. From October, the work will start. Hurdles in converting harbour line trains from nine-car rakes to 12-car rakes have already been studied and solutions have been found. The infrastructure should be ready by end of 2014,” said Ravi Agarwal, chief public relations officer (CPRO), MRVC.
The conversion of all trains to 12-car rakes will increase the passenger carrying capacity of the trains by 33%.
Presently, each nine-car train carries about 2,500-2,700 passengers. After the conversion about additional 800-1,000 commuters can be accommodated per train. However, the MRVC has been facing problems relating to extension of platforms, shifting of overhead wires, signalling and other electrical work at six platforms including platform no. 1 at CST.
The corporation plans to appoint the PMC for supervision and management of the project due to a staff crunch. “We don’t have sufficient staff to closely supervise the project, but designing and execution will be done by us. All the measures are taken to ensure that work is completed by 2014,” concluded Agarwal.