Mumbai Suburban Railways overhaul planned

Rail planners from the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd have presented a comprehensive plan to give the city’s suburban railway network a complete overhaul to Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The project’s completion cost is slated at around Rs.50,000 crore. During the presentation at Sahyadri Guest House, other dignitaries included Chairman, Railway Board Ashwani Lohani and senior railway officers.

“The proposal aims to increase the efficiency, reliability, safety, as well as the capacity of Mumbai suburban network which once completed, will bring a rapid expansion in suburban rail infrastructure,” said a senior railway officer.

The highlights of the proposal mainly involve procurements of 210 new air-conditioned local trains, maintenance facility for a proposed rolling stock, station improvements, fifth and sixth line between Borivali-–Virar, extension of Harbour line till Borivali, third and fourth line between Kalyan-Badlapur, additional line between Kalyan-Asangaon, a new suburban corridor between CSMT-Panvel on the Harbour line, a new suburban corridor between Panvel and Virar, stabling lines, augmentation of power supply arrangements and installing the state-of-the-art signalling system that will reduce the headway time – the gap between two trains – by half, making it possible to operate more trains on the same track.

Mumbai’s suburban section currently uses a rather outdated signalling system called the Fixed Block Signalling system. As the trains move from one block to the next, the previous block shows red signal and those behind it a yellow, or green. This separation of distance prevents trains from running at full potential, restricting the number of services.

In November last week, Union railway minister Piyush Goyal had instructed both zonal railways officers and MRVC to come up with a comprehensive plan on how the public transport in the city can be made better.

Apart from that the state government also presented its rehabilitation of slums located in the vicinity of railway lands especially about those where the land will have to be reclaimed for the proposed projects.

Speaking to the media after the meeting Piyush Goel said, “We are considering the state government’s proposal. Besides it, we also had a detailed discussion with the chief minister about how to decongest Mumbai’s suburban railway system and give better ridership experience to commuters. Both governments are committed to decongest the Mumbai’s suburban network.”

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