Mumbaikers, there is great news for you! Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has directed that all local trains in Mumbai be turned into 15-coach trains- a move that will come as a big relief to regular commuters. Recently at a meeting with senior railway officials at the state guesthouse Sahyadri, Goyal asked the Central and Western Railway top brass to come up with a timeline for the project within two weeks. According to a Mumbai Mirror report, Goyal was quoted saying that such a move will increase the Mumbai local trains’ capacity by 25%. Presently, a 12-coach train on the Western Line carries more than 5,500 passengers against its capacity of around 3,000 during the peak rush hours.
The Central Railway, which runs 1,772 services everyday on the Mumbai suburban network, including the Main and Harbour lines besides services to Bandra, Andheri and Goregaon, has just one 15-coach train out of its running fleet of 133 rakes (37 rakes are on standby for maintenance). While WR is already running an AC local train on its suburban network (a 12-coach train) and is scheduled to get another AC train next month, the Central Railway will get its first AC local in June next year. Goyal was quoted in the report saying that he wants the Central and the WR top brass to submit a timeline for the project within two weeks. First up, they want the fast corridors on both Central line and Western line converted to 15-coach trains. This will be extended to the slow lines as well.
The Western line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway is the local public transit system in Mumbai. It covers 37 stations from Dahanu Road to Churchgate railway station. It is operated by Western Railways (WR). The trains are differentiated as slow and fast locals. Whereas, the Central line consists of 24 stations from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (C.S.M.T.) to Kalyan Junction. The Central line also consists of three major corridors, which bifurcate as they run into suburban satellite towns. Two corridors on Central Railway run from CST to Kalyan Junction (55 km), from where it bifurcates into two lines. One runs to to Kasara (67 km) in the north-east and the other runs up to Khopoli (61 km) in the south-east. These two corridors constitute the ‘Main’ Line. The Central main line shares one station with the Western line, which is at Dadar.