By June, Central Railway suburban fast trains will run faster by least two minutes because they will not be forced to halt every time an outstation train passes.
In the next two months, the CR expects to finish laying the fifth and sixth lines between Kurla and Thane stations for outstation trains starting from Kurla Terminus. “There are no problems. We expect the new lines to be completed by June,” said S. Mudgerikar, chief public relations officer, CR.
“We are shifting tracks and overhead cables and laying additional lines. We will complete the work by June by holding planned mega blocks during weekends,” said a senior CR official, on condition of anonymity.
The two new lines will also help run more local trains, including the 101 new services announced in the Rail Budget.
However, outstation trains starting from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) will continue to ply on the fast line.
“It won’t be feasible for trains starting from CST to ply on the new lines from Kurla. It will cause delays as the outstation trains will have to cross from track to another,” said the senior CR official.
But it will be possible when the fifth and sixth lines are laid between CST and Kurla — part of the multi-crore Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-II, it is expected to be completed by 2014.
However, this respite for suburban commuters will be restricted up to Thane as there are only four rail tracks beyond the Thane creek.
This problem too is being fixed.
The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation, which is in charge of the MUTP, has called for tenders to construct a 250-metre long tunnel similar to the existing one for the fifth and sixth lines. “This tunnel is important for the entire fifth and sixth lines of MUTP. We will select the private contractor by May and work will begin after monsoon,” said Prakashrao Vazalwar, chief PRO, MRVC.
The tunnel will be built at a cost Rs 6.9 crore and will be part of the Rs 80.87 crore Thane-Diva fifth and sixth lines project.