There is some good news for commuters who travel frequently on the Harbour Line. The proposal for extending the nine-car trains to 12-car ones is expected to be cleared by the Ministry of Railways in the supplementary railway budget in July.
After the clearance, funds will be sanctioned for the implementation of the project. In the supplementary budget, which happens in the middle of the year, all the projects that weren’t mentioned in the initial railway budget receive a nod from the ministry.
“The file (the proposal for 12-car trains on the Harbour Line) is with the ministry and we anticipate a clearance in the supplementary railway budget in the coming month,” said a senior official from Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC). The MRVC, a joint venture of the state government and the railways, will then implement this project.
The Rs725 crore proposal sent to the board mentions the procurement of more coaches , for converting nine-car trains to 12-car ones, getting rolling stocks for this purpose and improvement of power supply and allied equipments for converting it from 1500-volt Direct Current to 25,000-volt Alternating Current.
An upgrade by three coaches to a 12-car train on the 60-km route of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Panvel would translate into a 33% increase in the train’s capacity. With the constant development of Navi Mumbai, there is a great need increase the capacity and services of the trains.
The stations beyond Vashi, up to Panvel, which is the starting point for Navi Mumbai, have been extended to hold 12-car trains.
In October 2010, the CR extended the platforms on the Thane-Vashi-Panvel Trans Harbour route, enabling them to run 12-car trains. Sources in CR feel that this project is significant as there are only two lines and that every year there is rise by 7% in number of commuters.
Presently, CR operates 35 trains (all 9-car ones) and runs 580 services on the CST-Panvel route.
On the trans Harbour line, 208 services are operated using 10 trains, of which six are 12-car and four are nine-car.