Goods loading eased at LTT to improve punctuality of long-distance trains | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Goods loading eased at LTT to improve punctuality of long-distance trains

Feb 26, 2024 08:02 AM IST

Improved punctuality for long-distance trains from Mumbai's Lokmanya Tilak Terminus with recent infrastructure upgrades, allowing efficient loading and unloading of freight.

Mumbai: Passengers boarding long-distance trains from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) on the Central Railway (CR) can expect improved punctuality with the recent infrastructure upgrade on February 23. This upgrade will allow CR authorities to efficiently load and unload freight from coaches attached as parcel vans to departing long-distance trains. This enhancement will provide CR with an additional hour for maintenance and safety checks before the departure of long-distance trains from LTT.

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According to CR officials, spaces have been created near the LTT close to the platforms where these luggage-loading coaches can be shunted. This work is important because previously locomotives transported parcel vans after navigating rail lines into the platforms. Until reaching the destined platform for attachment to long-distance trains, this process restricted the movement of other trains, causing delays.

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“Until now, we had to get these freight coaches with the help of an engine until the platforms. Now, a pit line has been created near the platforms where these would be shunted, coaches will be inspected and goods loaded. This will save time, improve punctuality of long-distance trains as our wait period will drop and there will be savings in diesel consumption,” said a CR official.

The work was taken up along with other works that they carried out during their week-long work which ended on February 18 as part of adding two new platforms at LTT and other allied works. Usually, a long-distance train departing from a terminus undergoes primary checks --- from wheels, coaches, cleaning of toilets, removing garbage, and other facilities. These are then brought onto the platforms where their departure is listed on the electronic display board.

At the same time, there are also parcel vans attached to the long-distance trains. These vans typically arrive at the platforms from designated depots or yards, pulled by locomotives. Daily, an average of 18 to 20 trains from LTT undergo shunting with the assistance of engines and are connected to long-distance trains. Each train takes about 3 to 4 minutes to arrive after navigating the various rail lines. Until the attachment is completed, not only the designated train but also others waiting to depart from the platforms are affected. Once the train reaches the platform, goods are loaded onto the parcel vans.

“Every time these parcel vans need to be transported, we had to make a dry run of the engines carrying goods coaches. This also contributes to the unnecessary consumption of diesel. With the new system in place, we can skip the entire process,” said another CR official.

Meanwhile, the CR authorities are adding two new platforms which will help in adding 10-14 more trains (5-7 pairs) from LTT to northern and southern India, thus benefitting citizens in the coming summer vacations. Currently, there are 5 platforms that see a footfall of 70,000 passengers daily. These new platforms and allied works are being built for 64.10 crore. It will help in accommodating more long-distance trains, its faster dispersal and better passenger management. Currently, there are at least 26 pairs of long-distance trains that arrive and depart from the station. During peak season, the number goes up to 37 pairs.

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