The Western Railway has introduced 15-coach local train services on its slow corridor between Andheri and Virar stations from Monday, officials said.
Till now, the WR was operating 15-coach suburban services only on its fast corridor, they said, adding that the latest move will increase the carrying capacity of these train services by 25 per cent, they said.
With the addition of 25 new services from Monday, the total number of 15-coach suburban train services on the Western Railway suburban route has gone up to 79, WR's chief public relations officer Sumit Thakur told PTI.
The Western Railway operates a total of 1,367 suburban services between Churchgate (in south Mumbai) and Dahanu (in neighbouring Palghar) stations.
Thakur said the WR has converted 25 suburban services, including 13 down and 12 up services, to 15-car from 12-car. Out of these, 18 services will be operated on slow corridors and seven on fast corridor of the suburban train network.
"The augmentation of twenty five 12-car services to 15-car services is a great boon for passengers, as it will increase the carrying capacity of these services by 25 per cent," the Western Railway said in a release issued on Sunday.
For operating the 15-coach trains on slow corridor, the WR extended 27 platforms at 14 railway stations between Andheri and Virar, it said.
The work also included re-modelling of four major yards at Andheri (in Mumbai), Bhayander (Thane), Vasai Road and Virar stations (both in Palghar), besides construction or extension of some foot over-bridges, the release said, adding that these works were done under a project worth about Rs 60 crore.
"This augmentation will provide additional accommodation for commuters for their convenience and comfort. It will be a huge relief for commuters when the services are opened for all," the release said.
Currently, the local train services here are being operated only for medical and essential services staff in the wake of coronavirus-induced restrictions.
The Western Railway introduced the first 15-coach service in Mumbai in 2009, with an aim to reduce overcrowding in the suburban locals.