Built in 1890, a Western Railway (WR) parcel depot at Grant Road is now being considered for a choice of two entirely different applications.
The first option is to demolish the depot, build a multi-department administrative building — for around Rs 10 crore — that will rehabilitate a string of WR offices along the line between Mumbai Central and Borivli. This is seen as a first step towards setting up a sixth WR line as part of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project, Phase-II. It would then need the acquisition of land from various sources, private and governmental.
“We could demolish structures and offices owned by WR along the Mumbai Central-Borivli line and shift them into the proposed building. This would allow clearance for the sixth track,” said a senior WR official on anonymity.
The sixth line is meant for outstation trains, which currently run on two other WR lines that are meant for suburban local trains.
WR’s second option is to use the plot to build a maintenance centre for outstation trains that use Linke Holfmann Bush (LHB) coaches. Two trains, the Rajdhani and the Shatabdi, use LHB coaches. This plot could be used as a maintenance centre for these coaches.
LHB coaches have a top speed of 160 kph, regular outstation trains peak at 120 kph, the new purple-white Siemens suburban trains peak at 110 kph and the old red-and-off-white locals peaked at 80 kph.
A recent report on 15-coach trains suggested reviving the parcel depot as a rail terminal, but this proposal was kept on hold as officials contemplated the two options.