Mumbai's WR is all set to start 200 extra services from March

In a few months from now, Western Railways will introduce 200 new services between Churchgate and Virar. “By March 2009, we will procure 56 new Siemens trains and press them into service along the 60-km suburban line,,’’ an official said.Last November, the Borivli-Virar sector was quadrupled after two new lines were added to the existing ones. “The move helped segregate operations of long-distance trains from the locals, thereby easing the limitation of increasing the number of services. With the new lines sharing the load, 78 new services were added on the Churchgate-Virar sector to ease over-crowding. However, this proved insufficient, with trains still going packed. But by March the problem would have eased to a great extent,” the official added.“The city has got congested and in the last 10-15 years the population has been moving northwards. There have been many new constructions mushrooming beyond Andheri especially in Virar. Our ticket sales have grown tremendously in this area just proving this shift in demographics,’’ said divisional railway manager (DRM) C P Sharma. WR has three new Siemens trains from the first batch of 20 and by March 2009 officials expect another 56 to be added to their fleet. “If all goes as planned and the Integral Coach Factor (ICF), which manufactures the trains, continues doing so at a steady pace, the expected 56 trains will come to WR and will be used to ease the traffic,’’ Sharma.

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