15-coach trains planned on Andheri-Virar slow line to reduce rush for Mumbai commuters
Commuters on the Western Railway slow line can now expect less crowded locals between Andheri and Virar in the next few years. Reason? The Western Railway (WR) plans to run 15-coach trains on the slow corridor between these stations.
Currently, 15-coach trains ply only on the fast corridor and all services on slow corridor have 12 coaches. Railway officials will extend at least 25 platforms on 14 stations in the section to accommodate the longer rakes. This includes eight island platforms, which are placed in between two tracks. Ravinder Bhakar, chief spokesperson, WR, confirmed the development.
A WR official said the platforms will be either extended on a single side or on both sides by up to 76 metres. The length of platform number one and two will be extended at most stations, while platform number two and three and three and four will be extended in some cases. The bidding process to appoint a contractor for extending the platforms is on. The estimated cost for the project is ₹25 crore. “The 12-car train carries 4,300 commuters daily. The 15-car train will be able to carry over 5,000 passengers,” said a railway official, adding that the funds for the project were allocated in the 2018-19 budget.
Introduced in 2009 on WR, the 15-coach trains have 25% more passenger carrying capacity than 12-coach trains.
WR operates 42 fast services with three 15-coach locals. CR launched these trains on its fast corridor in 2012 and runs 16 services. According to railway officials, the slow corridor between Andheri and Virar was selected as there is a heavy rush in this section. “Space constraint for extension of platforms is another reason,” said another WR official.