Get ready for a tough time on the Central Railway (CR) this weekend, as the authorities will impose an 8-hour mega block to test the work done on switching over from direct current to alternate current, known as DC-AC conversion, between Thane and CST, from 10.30pm on Saturday to 6.30am on Sunday.
This, in effect, means the last north-bound local from CST and southbound local from Kalyan will leave at 10.30pm. For the convenience of commuters, the authorities will run two special trains to Karjat and Kasara from CST, at 12.30am.
The trains will leave for CST early Sunday morning, but the time is yet to be fixed. Long-distance trains, too, will use the diesel engine.
The CR will request BEST, MSRTC and other public transport bodies in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region to run special services. Besides, suburban passengers may be allowed to travel on long-distance trains. The services are likely to remain disrupted for two hours after the block, but there won’t be a mega block later in the day.
The overhead wires, which have 1500 Volt DC current, will be charged with 25,000 Volt AC current during the block. “This will be a good test of the work we have done so far,” said Mukesh Nigam, divisional railway manager of Mumbai division of CR, adding the conversion work is a challenging task, especially between Kurla and CST.
The much-delayed DC-AC conversion, which is part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project, is estimated to cost over Rs 1200 crore. The CR has completed the work till Thane.
Adopting the AC traction will allow CR to run more trains, increase speed and reduce the power bills too. After conversion, CR officials said they will be able to save Rs 124 crore annually.