It will be an eventful December for Central Railway (CR) commuters. CR will next month introduce 12-car trains on the Thane-Turbhe-Vashi-Panvel Trans-Harbour line by upgrading 126 of the 208 rakes, benefiting nearly 5 lakh commuters.
CR was waiting for additional coaches from Western Railway even though its platforms had been extended and signals realigned earlier.
“On an average, there are 300 passengers per coach, so we expect an increase of 1.14 lakh passengers once the conversion is complete," said Kul Bhushan, CR general manager.
CR would add 14 services on the Wadala-Vashi-Belapur-Panvel route in the last week of December. This will increase Harbour line daily services from 566 to 580, creating capacity to add 37,800 passengers.
CR has also sent a proposal to convert Harbour line trains to 12-car to the Railway Board. This is part of second phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project.
However, this will take at least a year. "The process will start in June 2011 and be completed by December 2011," said Bhushan. This will raise the daily capacity by1.03 lakh passengers.
CR will also convert the Kalyan-Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus ladies' special to 12-car by December-end, creating space for 900 more commuters.
The project to add the fifth and sixth Thane-Kurla lines, under way for the last 15 years, will finally become functional in December. The Thane-Vikhroli stretch was opened on October 15.
Overall increase in CR's daily capacity will rise by 2.6lakh from 36 lakh.
CR won't run its 15-car trains unless a detailed report is submitted by Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC). "We are interested in running 15-car trains in the long-term. But we don't want to unless every aspect of infrastructure, such as like signal realignment and platform extensions are taken care of," said Bhushan.
CR might also create a 'Go Mumbai' smart card-like ticketing system, which can be used across the Indian Railways. Such a card can also be used in other modes of transport such as buses, the Metro and monorail.