Almost two years ago, the Western Railway (WR) proposed a terminus for long-distance trains starting from Jogeshwari station. The plan seems to have been put on the backburner, given the slow pace at which things are moving. This terminus was meant to ease pressure on the Mumbai Central and Bandra termini, from where long-distance trains ply.
But WR officials clarify, this is not the case. “We have not put a lid on this project but it’s going at a slow pace. Work on two platforms and other allied works are already underway. This is part of Mission 2024, wherein we aim to run long-distance trains with LHB coaches at higher speeds, up to 160kmph,” a senior WR official said.
The WR is focusing on improving Bandra terminus, where work on adding the fifth and sixth rail lines is underway. Between Jogeshwari and Ram Mandir stations on the east, there is a huge tract of railway land, where the proposed terminus was to come up, at a cost of around Rs 65-70 crore. Initially, they were to run 12 long-distance trains from Jogeshwari Terminus towards Gujarat and later, there were plans to ease travel to Konkan and south India.
Also, the WR authorities are working towards improving the rail link near Vasai. They are creating a link between Naigaon and Juchandra stations. Currently long-distance trains starting from WR bound for the south, go till Vasai station, where the locomotive is detached, then added to the other side when the train reverses on the Vasai-Diva-Panvel rail corridor, in the absence of a direct line.
“WR was supposed to start trains for Gujarat from Jogeshwari Terminus, which would have eased crowding at stations like Bandra Terminus, Mumbai Central and Borivli. However, it’s frustrating to see work getting delayed, as this leads to an increase in the cost of the project,” said Mansoor Darvesh, member, Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC).
Once this rail link is created, the WR will be able to run direct trains to Konkan and south India with ease. The 7-km stretch between Naigaon and Juchandra on the Vasai-Diva line will be a double line rail flyover connector. The survey for this line was sanctioned in 2018.