Good news for Mumbaikars! From Monday, Indian Railways has started 15-coach local train services on Western Railways’ slow corridor between Andheri station and Virar station. Till now, the Western Railway zone was operating 15-coach suburban train services only on its fast corridor. With this latest move, the carrying capacity of these train services will increase by 25 per cent, according to officials quoted in a PTI report. Wester Railways’ Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Sumit Thakur said with the addition of 25 new suburban train services from Monday, the total number of 15-coach local train services on the zone’s suburban route has gone up to 79.
A total of 1,367 suburban services are operated by Western Railways between Churchgate and Dahanu stations. According to Thakur, the zone has converted 25 suburban train services, including 12 up services and 13 down services, to 15-car from 12-car services. Out of these train services, 18 local train services will be operated on slow corridors and seven services on the suburban network’s fast corridor.
For operating the 15-coach local trains on Western Railways’ slow corridor, the national transporter has extended 27 platforms at 14 stations, between Andheri and Virar stations. Also, the work included re-modelling of four major yards at Bhayander (Thane), Andheri (Mumbai), Vasai Road and Virar stations (both located in Palghar), apart from the construction or extension of some foot over-bridges (FOBs). All these works were conducted under a project worth around Rs 60 crore. According to Western Railways, this augmentation will provide additional accommodation for passengers for their comfort and convenience. Thus, it will be a huge relief for local train commuters when the services are opened for all, it said.
At present, Mumbai local train services are being operated only for medical and essential services employees in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic-induced restrictions. The first 15-coach service was introduced in Mumbai by Western Railways in 2009. The service was started with an aim to reduce overcrowding in the suburban local trains.