To flag off two suburban trains on Mumbai Suburban Railway
Geetanjali Minhas | February 17, 2022 | Mumbai
Prime minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation two additional railway lines connecting Thane and Diva via video conferencing on Friday. He will also flag off two suburban trains of the Mumbai Suburban Railway followed by his address.
Kalyan is the main junction located on the Central Railway network where traffic coming from North side and South side of the country merges and moves towards CSMT (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus).
At present out of the four tracks between Kalyan and CSTM two tracks are used for slow local trains and two tracks for fast local, mail express as well as goods trains.
The 9.4 km long additional two tracks will segregate suburban and long distance trains and have been built at an approximate cost of Rs 620 crore. The lines have a 1.4 km long rail flyover, 3 major bridges and 21 minor bridges and will significantly remove the interference of long-distance train traffic with suburban train traffic in Mumbai.
These lines will also enable the introduction of 36 new suburban trains in the city that will include 34 AC and 2 non AC services.
With elections to local bodies including BMC around the corner, the event is politically significant.
Transport expert Ajit Shenoy said, “Additional lines on Thane-Diva section is a long-pending requirement and will really help people staying in MMR beyond Thane on both Pune and Nasik routes. There has been large growth of population in this area during last 20 years due to affordable housing availability. This will help reduce congestion in trains beyond Thane and reduce people falling from trains.”
Speaking on the introduction of two additional suburban trains, he however said that out of these 36 services 34 are going to be AC which have very low occupancy. Hence, they will not be any help in reducing congestion. “Unless railways take decision to reduce AC train fares to affordable levels, say 30 to 50% higher than regular second class fares, the occupancy will not go up. BEST has been a good example of how to increase AC bus occupancy. Railways need to follow that.”
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