If everything falls in place as per the plans chalked out by the Western railway (WR) authorities, then soon the commuters travelling on the Western line will reach their respective destinations on time.
With the authorities planning to start suburban operations on the fifth line — between Andheri and Borivli — shortly, services are expected to become punctual as it will decongest the existing four lines.
Currently, the fifth line is used only for plying long-distance trains and their frequency is one train per hour.
“We are in the process of securing an approval from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) to operate suburban services on this line. If approved, we will be able to direct at least 20 fast trains that don’t halt between Andheri and Borivli on this line. This will improve the overall punctuality of our services, including fast, slow and long-distance trains,” said Mukul Jain, divisional railway manager (DRM), WR, Mumbai division.
When contacted, CRS (WR) Sushil Chandra said, “I had received an application [last month] from the WR for allowing suburban operations on the fifth line — between Andheri and Borivli. However, it was sent back asking for a few more compliances and queries to be answered. Once an updated application is received, the approval will be processed.”
Dry runs on
The WR have already initiated a trial of speeding up a few trains on the Churchgate-Borivli and Churchgate-Virar route. Currently, four fast services operated during evening peak hours don’t halt between Andheri-Borivli. This saves six minutes per train.