The Virar-Dahanu railway route is ready for the past six months but is still lying idle. There are no local train service from Virar to Dahanu. The 77,000 commuters on the stretch either take the shuttle service or mail express trains.
Right now, the Western Railway (WR) administration doesn’t have trains to run on that stretch.
Sources in the WR said the stretch will not open before the end of 2011, when there would be enough trains for that stretch. “There is no set deadline to start trains on the Virar-Dahanu stretch. Our priority is to utilise the new trains for DC-AC conversion on Borivli-Churchgate stretch,” said Divisional Railway Manager, G Pillai.
They are waiting for the 26 new trains to be brought from Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai under phase-I of MUTP. “The commuters travel in shuttle services and mail express trains which run on fixed time. If suburban trains start running, then automatically the demand for more trains will go up,” said another WR official.
Last week, there was a meeting of the WR officials and Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee to discuss the problems on the Virar-Dahanu stretch. The authorities said they would also need more motormen to run trains on this stretch, which is equally lengthy as Churchgate-Virar. They are also looking at adjusting the schedules of outstation trains and freight goods trains coming via Panvel-Diva-Vasai stretch and towards Gujarat.