CSMT to Thane in 21 minutes: Railways proposes new high-speed underground corridor

CSMT to Thane in 21 minutes: Railways proposes new high-speed underground corridor
The proposed corridor will run below CR’s existing line, have just six stations and use metro-like rakes capable of travelling at speeds of 90 kmph (Representational Image, Courtesy: ebela.in)

Railways is mulling over a high-speed fully underground corridor between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Thane, which will come up under the existing line and cut travel time in half.

The 33.8 km railway corridor, proposed by the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), will cut travel time from the current 40 minutes to about 21 minutes.

The concept was first discussed by former Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who directed MRVC to examine its feasibility.

MRVC sought help from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC), which conducted the feasibility study last year and submitted its report earlier this month.

The proposed project will be a part of Phase-4 of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), a joint venture between the state and Railways aimed at improving local train transport in and around Mumbai.

The corridor is expected to cost between Rs 15,500 and Rs 18,000 crore, which will either be raised in the form of a loan or a public-private partnership.

The underground system will be designed for Metro-like rakes, which will have nine coaches and be capable of ferrying around 2,700 passengers in one go. The service will be operational from 5 am to midnight.

At present, trains between CSMT and Thane halt at Byculla, Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, and Mulund. However, in the proposed corridor, the trains will only halt at CSMT, Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Bhandup, and Thane.

The project also entails the construction of a depot-cum-workshop at Bhandup which will be used for maintenance and repair work.

Since most of the corridor will be underground, below Central Railway’s existing line, the need for land acquisition for the creation of entry-exit points, depots, offices, etc will be minimal.

DMRC has estimated that less than 0.25 percent of the near 25-hectare land required for the project is privately owned and will need to be acquired. The rest is either owned by the Railways or the State government.

According to reports, the state cabinet is expected to approve the Rs 35,000 crore MUTP-4 by October. It will then have to be approved by the Railways, Niti Aayog, and the Union Cabinet before work can begin.

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