Two of the oldest terminal railway stations of Grant Road and Mumbai Central will undergo a major change in the months to come.
The 50,000 sq.feet land adjacent to Grant Road station (W), where an obsolete parcel depot is situated, is barely used by the Western Railway (WR) and will be soon remodelled. Sources from the WR said that this was once a hub used by trains for loading and unloading of goods.
“We are planning to utilise around 20,000 sq.feet of land where a mechanised linen washing plant would be constructed,” said a senior WR official on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media. The remaining plot of land too would be developed with station offices and buildings being shifted there. The overall cost of the project is Rs80 crore.
Presently, the WR does not have any washing plant in Mumbai and has to depend on local dhobis or private contractors. “Once the plant is set up at Grant Road, it would effectively help in transporting pillow covers, bed sheets and linen used by passengers inside long distance trains in a faster manner,” added the official.
As per the initial plan, the laundry plant would be built at a cost of Rs15 crore.
Meanwhile, the WR would also improve the Mumbai Central terminus to allow it to accommodate more 24-coach trains.
The erstwhile general manager of WR, RN Verma said on January 31, that all high-end outstation trains are 24-coach ones and Mumbai Central has only one platform that can accommodate them. The other three platforms can accommodate only 18-coach trains. As per the plans, the remaining three platforms would be extended.
“We have sanctioned work of extending the platforms, shifting of signals, pit lanes for washing trains and stabling lines for maintaining it,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, Western Railway. The WR will soon be calling tenders for work at Grant Road. They have already begun work at Mumbai Central.