Railway authorities took an entire year to just plan an extension of 15-coach trains up to Churchgate. But, the good news is that the Western Railway (WR) will start running 15-coach trains from Churchgate from June 2011.
WR will be extending platforms 3 and 4 at Churchgate station, so that 15-coach trains can halt there once the platforms are ready. “We are in the process of planning what needs to be done and it will take us at least three months,” said S Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.
Railway authorities plan to start work only in the first quarter of 2011.
This work will require them to shift the office of the railway police between platforms 2 and 3, shift the underground utilities and cables beneath the railway tracks and then extend the platforms. The roofs above the platforms would, however, be extended later.
Initially, WR had planned to extend all four platforms at Churchgate and demolish Marine Lines station completely, giving them enough scope even to run 18-coach trains in future. However, they scrapped the plan after deciding it was not feasible.
“The extension of all four platforms would mean that we would have not only had to skip Marine Lines completely, but also extend the stabling lines (where trains are parked during the night) and the signalling systems,” explained the WR official on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The WR has also scrapped the remodelling of Grant Road Terminus, which was part of their previous plan.
Authorities are yet to calculate funding for the extension of the platforms and other allied work and that can be done only after the planning is complete.
Ever since the 15-coach trains were inaugurated by railway minister Mamata Banerjee on November 27, 2009, the WR has been running 12 services every day between Dadar and Virar, halting at Bandra, Andheri, Borivli and Vasai.
From November 15, these trains will also halt at Mira Road, Bhayander and Nallasopara.
As per the proposed route of 15-coach trains, the trains will halt on platform 5 at Dadar station, after crossing over before Dadar (Borivli end), and then again running on the fast corridor after diverting at Elphinstone Road.