Commuters who travel frequently on the Thane-Vashi-Panvel Trans Harbour line have some respite in sight.
The Central Railway (CR) has finally extended the platforms and related infrastructure to accommodate 12-coach trains on the route.
Around 5 lakh commuters travel on the stretch. A change from nine-coach to 12-coach trains will increase the capacity inside trains by 33%. However, the commuters will not get to travel on these trains immediately. They will have to wait for eight months, because there aren’t enough trains to run on this stretch.
“The coaches available are not enough. So it will take time before 12-coach trains are introduced on the Trans Harbour,” said S Mudgerikar, chief PRO.
The CR has to wait for the Western Railway (WR) to get 27 new trains under the first phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) from the Integral Coach Factory (ICF).
The WR will then transfer 27 of their older trains which are already running to the CR. These 9-coach trains will then be converted to 12-coach. The WR receives an average of 3 to 4 trains every month from the ICF. Therefore, the possible deadline for getting these trains is June 2011.
“The WR will transfer the trains running on 1,500-volt direct current to us once they receive the violet and white 25,000-volt alternate current trains from the ICF,” said a CR official on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
There are 208 train services covering 10 stations on the Trans Harbour, out of which 44 services were added in May this year.
The rail traffic on this stretch is not much and so the CR authorities expect each train to run 20 services per day, to support the changing demography and increasing number of commuters in Navi Mumbai and Panvel.
The CR has been having trial runs for 12-coach trains between Thane and Vashi since November 2008.