WR mulling extension of 15-car trains on slow line till Churchgate, begins study | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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WR mulling extension of 15-car trains on slow line till Churchgate, begins study

Nov 13, 2023 05:18 AM IST

Sources said that 15-car rakes could be introduced on the Andheri-Churchgate slow line in a phased manner – first from Andheri to Bandra or Dadar, and later, further south

Mumbai: Western Railway (WR) has initiated a study to assess the possibility of running 15-car trains on the Andheri-Churchgate slow line. Whereas 12-car trains currently operate on this route, three additional coaches will be able to accommodate 1200-1500 commuters during peak hours, enhancing the overall occupancy rate by 25%. The Churchgate-Virar route is presently serviced by 14 rakes comprised of 15 cars each, which are used to run 199 daily services.

Mumbai, India - January 31, 2018: Huge crowd on western line during rush hours at Andheri in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. (Photo by Satyabrata Tripathy/Hindustan Times) (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)
Mumbai, India - January 31, 2018: Huge crowd on western line during rush hours at Andheri in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. (Photo by Satyabrata Tripathy/Hindustan Times) (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

WR authorities began assessing the slow line on the Churchgate-Virar route earlier this month. “We want to see if 15-car trains can be operated on this route, and the quantum of work required for this including extension of platforms and shifting of signalling and related systems. Once all this is done, we will be able to take the plan forward,” said a senior WR official.

Sources said that 15-car rakes could be introduced on the Andheri-Churchgate slow line in a phased manner – first from Andheri to Bandra or Dadar, and later, further south.

“The extension on the slow line will benefit commuters travelling at least till central Mumbai. We will have to see how the study pans out as multiple factors will be taken into consideration,” said another WR official.

Transport experts said that the study must consider existing and proposed metro lines as well as changes in the city’s commuting patterns.

“The study should take into consideration the future metro routes, their proposed carrying capacity and other details. Duplication of routes or even augmenting the capacity of local trains should be done only if needed. As it is, offices are shifting from the town to the suburbs. The railways will have to consider different travel parameters before finalising any plan,” said AV Shenoy, member, Mumbai Mobility Forum.

The experts further said that while Dadar is an old and important node connecting both the Central and Western lines, the Bandra Kurla Complex has emerged as a major commercial and business district, and plans for capacity augmentation needed to factor in these changes.

At present, WR operates a total of 1394 services catering to 26-28 lakh daily commuters. Fifteen car rakes were introduced on the Andheri-Virar slow line in June 2021, and 49 daily services of 15-car trains were added in August this year. In September 2022, capacity augmentation was done for 27 services, while in March 2022, six services were converted from 12 to 15 cars.

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