In an attempt to provide relief to commuters in the Borivli-Virar belt, the Western Railway (WR) plans to replace 16 existing services with 15-car trains within the next few months.
These services that are to be converted into 15-car ones will run in the Dadar-Virar stretch and are expected to be in place by the end of 2012.
Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR said: “We have plans to replace a few existing services with 15-car coaches, but this will require a few months. Our priority is to replace all nine-car services with 12-car trains.”
Of the 1,250 suburban services that run on the WR, currently 14 services have 15-car trains. Out of the remaining, while 196 services are run with nine-car local trains, 1,040 services have 12-car trains. Even though there is a service every three minutes, these suburban trains face heavy rush during peak hours.
On November 21, 2009, the WR had introduced 15-car suburban services between Dadar and Virar for the first time. These services were later extended to Churchgate on January 28, 2011.
“Each 15-car rake carries 33% more passengers than 12-car rakes. About 5,000 commuters travel in each train of these 15-car trains,” said a senior official of the western railway.
“We have enough rakes for the augmentation of the 15-car rakes, but platform extension is still a problem. Platform extension at Mumbai Central, to allow for the accommodation 15-car rakes is still pending,” added a source.