The two new tracks between Borivli and Virar are finally ready for Mumbaikars and Western Railway is trying to get Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to officially throw open the two new lines to public at a function on July 7.
"Laluji's office has confirmed the date and timing of inauguration but one cannot be sure as there may be last minute changes and one cannot be sure of his arrival. Once the tracks are opened, we can start 20 new suburban services," a senior divisional official said on condition of anonymity.
Since this is a part of Mumbai Urban Transport Project, the participation of the Maharashtra government is vital in this and Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh will also be the chief guest at the function.
On June 28-29, the commissioner of railway safety for western circle (CRS) Prashant Kumar inspected tracks and the two creek bridges near Vasai that carry the new tracks. The CRS, with nine such officials across India, falls under the ministry of civil aviation to ensure its impartial working and has to certify the tracks to be fit before passenger trains can run on them.
The new lines have been activated with 25,000 volts of alternate current instead of the traditional 1,500 volts direct current, which means anyone who comes within 2 metres of the overhead wires will be instantly pulled towards them and get electrocuted. A goods train will now run on the new line for trials.
"I inspected the bridges at Vasai north and south and found them to be fine. There are set parameters for each component of the inspection formulated by the railway board and I just ensure that all these components are in place before I certify them fit for passenger runs. I then have to send the report to the government," Kumar told HT.
It is likely that during the monsoon trains will run with restricted speeds and initially only outstation trains will ply on the new tracks.