By 2014, your wait for a suburban train could be under three minutes, and your average rail commute could be shorter by a few minutes.
The state government and the railways inked a formal loan agreement with the World Bank in Delhi on Friday to get a Rs 1,920 crore loan for its Mumbai Urban Transport Project II (MUTP-II).
Under MUTP II phase 1, estimated at Rs 3,800 crore, the city will get 72 new 12-car trains and the Central line from Thane to CST will see conversion from direct current to alternate current, considered to be more power efficient.
The state and the railways will fund the rest of the project cost equally.
Phase 2 will involve the addition of two dedicated corridors for outstation trains, and extension of the Harbour line to Goregaon.
“We have negotiated with the World Bank to provide around Rs 1,920 crore for MUTP (II). Citizens can expect a faster, more comfortable commute,” said T.C. Benjamin, principal secretary, urban development department.
The new rakes being designed by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation will have better interiors – improved seat covers, more space between seats and an improved cooling system.
The current DC to AC conversion will also improve the average speed of trains from 80 kph to 100 kph.
Benjamin added that the state is also working to hire more motormen to run these additional trains.
“We’ll start getting the WB funds over the next three months. There will be a definite improvement in trains services after this,” said Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) managing director, P C Sehgal.
When MUTP II is completed, the crowd per 9-car train will reduce from the current 3,600 to 3,000.
MUTP is a three-phase, multi-crore project to upgrade the city’s rail and road infrastructure.
The Rs 4,000-crore Phase 1, which began in 2004, now delayed by two years, is 70 per cent complete and end in December 2010. Work on the Rs 5,300-crore Phase 2, also delayed by two years, is to be completed by 2014.