Bonanza for WR commuters: Faster commute, widening of Borivali FOB & 15-coach trains on slow line
Commuters travelling on the Western Line of the city’s suburban rail network can now look forward to slightly faster commute, easier movement at Borivali station thanks to FOB widening and the proposed introduction of 15-coach trains on the slow line.
Faster commute and higher speed limit:
The commute on WR’s busy Churchgate-Virar route became a tad faster from this week as authorities have relaxed the speed restrictions on the stretch between Andheri and Jogeshwari stations on the fast line.
Till last week, trains could only travel at a speed of 50 kmph on the stretch. The limit has now been increased to 100 kmph, which has reduced the travel time between Churchgate-Virar by around three minutes.
The decision will impact all suburban services passing through Andheri, which incidentally is almost 70 percent of all WR services.
The removal of the speed restriction was made possible due to the remodeling of Andheri station yard and the replacement of a faulty girder at Andheri subway.
The work, which was completed in less than three months and without causing any major inconvenience to commuters, will also pave way for a seamless commute as locals would not have to slow down unnecessarily.
Borivali FOB widening:
Work on a new 3-metre wide FOB at Borivali station, coming next to the existing 3-metre bridge, is already underway. It will likely be thrown open to the public by April.
The new FOB is coming up at the north end of Borivali, which will allow for better movement of the passengers.
According to an official release, the existing FOB from platform number 8/9 & 10 towards east side will be closed from the night of March 15 till March 30 as the roof and railings, trusses, floor and sheeting of existing FOB will be dismantled to match the new FOB.
Further, construction of flooring, railings, portals, trusses, painting and roof sheeting of FOB to make it 6-metre wide will also be undertaken.
Barricades are being placed to close the staircase at platform number 8/9 & 10, and the deck of the FOB from platform number 7 to 10. Signages for the same have been put up for the benefit of commuters.
“The infrastructural development will be a boon for suburban commuters as well as for Mail/Express passengers. Borivali station is one of the major stations of WR dealing with a large volume of passengers every day,” Ravinder Bhakar, CPRO, Western Railways said.
Introduction of 15-coach rakes on slow line:
In a bid to increase carrying capacity, WR will start plying 15-coach rakes on the slow corridor from 2020. At present, both CR and WR run 15-coach rakes on the fast line.
However, the rakes do not stop at stations on the slow corridor as many platforms are shorter in length.
The railway authority has already floated tenders for extending the length of platforms between Andheri and Virar stations. The work is expected to cost Rs 24 crore and complete within two years of the contractor’s appointment.
The longer trains will increase the carrying capacity of each rake by 25 percent, much to the respite of lakhs of WR commuters.
However, despite the obvious benefits, the 15-coach trains would not halt at stations between Mumbai Central and Churchgate as there is no space to increase the length of the platforms.