Commuters from far-flung suburbs such as Mira Road, Bhayander, Naigaon, Vasai and Virar will get 36 new train services from Tuesday next. The Western Railway (WR) will launch the new services from March 27.
With the introduction of new services, the WR has increased the carrying capacity on its suburban section by 1.5lakh commuters. The maximum number of the 18 services will ply on the Borivli-Virar-Borivli stretch, while six will run on the Churchgate-Virar-Churchgate and Andheri-Virar-Andheri stretches.
Besides, two Dadar-Virar and Churchgate-Bhayander services will also be added.
“In this exercise, we have focused on improving connectivity on the Borivli-Virar belt as the commuter density in this stretch is constantly increasing. It has been observed that the crowd usually reduces after Dadar and Parel. Therefore, we have emphasised on providing the convenience to far-flung suburban routes,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer (CPRO), WR.
In the past five years, WR passengers have increased by more than 3 lakh, which is 11.08%.
With the increase in the number of coaches the density of passengers has decreased by 16% and therefore the carrying capacity by 32%.
With the introduction of new services, the total number services on the western suburban section will increase from 1,214 to 1,250. Of these, there are 14 15-car services, while there are 1,040 12-car services and 196 9-car services.
Though happy with the move, railway activists claim this has come too late, as the announcement of these services had been made in the 2011-12 railway budget. “The move is good but late. Services on these belts should be increased further considering the growing population shifting to far-flung suburbs. Train services should be available every five minutes on these stretches,” said Kailash Verma, general secretary, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh.