Western Railways (WR) will roll out its third 15-coach train on the suburban section before December 25. For 35 lakh suburban commuters, this means that more services will be operated with trains that have 15 coaches, as opposed to just 12.
This is expected to increase the train’s carrying capacity by 25%. On an average, a 12-coach train carries 4,300 commuters in a single journey, whereas the 15-coach train will be able to carry more than 5,000 passengers.
This means around 14,400 more suburban commuters can be accommodated daily with just one additional 15-coach train.
Currently, WR has two 15-coach trains, which operate 30 services. The new 15-coach train will operate 12 services, which may be increased to 15 depending on the demand.
All 12 services will be to and from Virar, including eight Churchgate-Virar services, and four Andheri-Virar services. The administration is currently working on the train’s schedule.
“We plan to accommodate as many services as we can during peak hours. We are working on the train’s schedule. Once it is approved, we will be able to introduce the service before December 25,” said Mukul Jain, divisional railway manager (DRM) of the Western Railway Mumbai division.
This is second time in less than a quarter that the WR is introducing more Virar-bound services. On September 13, HT had reported the changing transport dynamic in the city.
There has been a gradual increase in commuters travelling between the north-end of the city — Virar — and upcoming business centres such as Goregaon, Bandra and Andheri. Following this trend, WR cancelled a few Churchgate-Bandra services and added more trains between Virar and stations such as Bandra, Borivli and Andheri from October 10.
Railway activist Gaurang Damani welcomed the move. “I am glad that WR is restructuring its timetable to meet the public’s changing transport demands. I hope that CR undertakes similar changes soon,” he said.
How will this help?
The conversion will increase the train’s carrying capacity by 25%
The new 15-coach train will operate 12 services, which may be increased to 15 depending on the demand.
Of the 12 services, eight will be Churchgate – Virar, while four will be Andheri-Virar.