Mumbai: Vasai Road to get 2 platforms to boost connect to South India
To boost Maharashtra’s railway connectivity with South India, Western Railway (WR) is planning to construct platforms for outstation trains at Vasai Road railway station.
WR is contemplating construction of two platforms for outstation trains at the Vasai Road railway yard. The land required for these has been identified and surveyed by senior WR officials. The decision to construct these platforms is in response to demands of passengers residing in Vasai and Palghar district, who have asked for train connectivity with southern India. It will also decongest the presently-saturated outstation terminuses at Bandra and Mumbai Central.
The land where these platforms presently deals with transportation of freight materials and will be made available to WR after the construction of the dedicated freight corridor (DFC), scheduled to be completed in 2022. East to west connectivity at the Vasai Road railway station will also be provided by the WR.
“We have surveyed the area and identified the construction work that will be required for the operation of outstation trains towards south India. There has been a long demand for operating trains from WR towards Hyderabad and other prominent cities.” said a senior WR official.
The platforms will be connected to the suburban railway stations as WR is also looking to operate local trains between Vasai and Panvel from the outstation platforms. However, the project requires approval from the Indian Railways and may be sent to the railway ministry later this year, following approvals from WR.
Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) is also working on a project of operating local trains between Vasai and Panvel railway stations and has proposed the construction of 11 new railway stations between the two stations. Apart from the construction of new railway stations, other proposals include making changes in the present railway stations, increasing the height of AC and changing the present signalling equipment.
Railway expert and retired member of the Railway board Subodh Jain said operating outstation trains from Vasai could be a challenge. “Operating outstation trains from Vasai Road could be cumbersome and difficult as the train links would be from Vasai- Diva-Panvel. A full-fledged terminal would be much more helpful.” said Jain, who has previously served as chief administrative officer of WR’s construction department and general manager of CR.
Passenger associations have welcomed the proposed platforms. “It is very difficult for people residing in Vasai, Mira Road to travel all the way to Dadar or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to board a train to South India. We have been demanding the operation of trains for a long time. This is a welcome move.” said Subash Gupta, president, Rail Yatri Parishad.
WR had first proposed the construction of a terminus at Vasai Road in 2013, when the plan did not materialise. The project was proposed again in 2017. In 2018, WR announced plans of constructing an outstation terminal at Vasai Road railway station. Construction of the terminal requires private and government land. The proposed new terminus would have four platforms, three stabling lines for outstation trains, and a new terminus building. The project was originally scheduled to be completed by 2023.