Sion railway station, one of the oldest in Mumbai, is set to undergo an overhaul. Its road over bridge (ROB), a relatively new appendage, will also be demolished to build a new one. The revamp holds the key to ensuring that trains run, even if not smoothly, on water-logged tracks during monsoon.
The new ROB will be a foot taller than the existing one. It will help the Central Railway (CR) further raise the height of the tracks to tide over the problem of suspending train services in case of water-logging.
“At present the height from the rail tracks to the bottom of the bridge’s girder is 5.1 mt. It will be increased to 5.4 mt. This will give us scope to raise the tracks by six inches,” a CR official said. On June 9, the water level had risen by a foot and train services had to be suspended.
On June 17, The Free Press Journal reported on how the CR authorities hastily repaired holes made in the station boundary walls partitioning rail lines and residential colonies at Sion from where water flowed on to the tracks. With a margin of six inches, trains will probably move slowly but not completely halt.
Tenders for the new ROB were called earlier in March-April. Currently, the CR, the BMC and the traffic police are discussing various modalities, including diversion of road traffic, as the ROB links Dharavi, Eastern Express Highway, Sion, BKC and LBS Marg.
The width of the bridge will remain at 15 mt, with its span at 27 mt – 13 mt on one pillar and 14 mt on the other. The girders of the new bridge will be a single span of 52 mt. The cost of the new ROB is pegged at Rs 25 crore and will take nearly 30 months to build. The plan is part of adding two new rail lines on the Kurla-Parel section in phase-1 and Parel-CSMT in phase-2, meant to segregate long distance trains from suburban trains.