With the aim of putting an end to the fight for space between long-distance and local trains, the Western Railway (WR) will finalise the technicalities of laying the sixth line — between Mumbai Central and Borivli — within a month.
The project is expected to be completed by 2015 and will help increase services in local trains by 30%.
The WR had commissioned its fifth line on the Santacruz-Borivli stretch in 2002 and the Mumbai Central-Mahim stretch in 1993.
However, the new line would come up after several modifications in track routes, signalling systems, extension of nearly 25 foot overbridges and platforms.
Work on this Rs500-crore project will begin post-monsoon, although minor works such as pipeline shifting and demolition of structures inside railway premises are already underway.
The two additional lines would bring huge relief to the saturated lines as it would create a dedicated corridor for long-distance trains and separate the suburban section.
In other words, the additional tracks will create special lines for both slow and fast corridors on the first four tracks starting from the west side while long-distance trains will be restricted to the fifth and sixth lines.
“Long-distance trains would no longer use the fast corridor once the new lines become operational. We expect an increase of 30% in the services of fast trains with the additional lines in place,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.
Starting from Mumbai Central, the sixth line will be housed on the west, passing through the Mahalaxmi car shed. The line inside the car shed is currently used for stabling trains.
At Lower Parel, it will pass through the yard, next to platform number one, and then head towards Elphinstone Road.
However, for this, the WR would have to modify one of the oldest road overbridge (ROB) in the city. The four-lane ROB is presently used to go to Lower Parel station from Phoenix Mills on the west and from Currey Road station side on the east.
“Space would be created using box pushing method below the ROB. Once this work gets completed, we will be able to lay tracks for the sixth line,” said a senior WR official on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The box pushing method involves giant cement box being pushed under the earth, beneath the flyover.
From there, the track will proceed to an open plot right up to Dadar from where a new track would be laid on the east side next to platform number five.
The track would be laid below the Tilak Bridge, which would need to be modified. A new platform has also been proposed at Dadar station for this purpose.
The sixth line will run parallel to the fifth line from Mahim, taking a detour from the suburban section. Both lines would be built simultaneously on the Mahim-Santacruz stretch, said officials.
The two lines would then go through the Bandra Terminus, connecting to a line leading to a yard between Bandra and Khar east. It would come out at Santacruz and join the incomplete fifth line and the new sixth line.
From Santacruz, the two lines would run on the east side right up to Borivli.
The blueprint also calls for acquiring land between Andheri and Borivli for the new line, which would include shifting part of the car shed at Kandivli.
Also, a new rail overbridge has been proposed from King Circle station till the Mithi River stretch at Mahim Causeway.
This would shift the Harbour line corridor from east to west from Mahim to Andheri and later up to Goregaon once the extension in complete in 2014.