Whenever things go back to normal and local trains run as usual, there is good news in-store. The Western Railway (WR) has created space to add at least 2-3 train services per hour on their system.
This is because, during this lockdown, they managed to finish quite a few incomplete works. Interestingly, it also included a work on the Bandra-Khar section that was pending for almost 50 years now.
The WR authorities completed four major works during this lockdown, which were completed in the past few days. This has improved the rail infrastructure. By this, the WR authorities have not only eliminated speed restrictions but also created space to operate additional train services on their system.
“We have managed to ease speed restrictions. By this, we can save 4 minutes in train running and on an average we can now add at least one train every 30 minutes. This will be possible as we have carried out a lot of improvement work,” said GVL Satya Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), WR.
Pre-Covid times, the headway between trains 3-4 minutes depending on the time of hour. At present, barely 9-10 lakh people on essential duties are travelling on the WR though they are operating at least 90 percent of total 1367 services.
This year the WR has spent Rs 840 crore on augmenting rail infrastructure and some of the vital works includes remodeling of Santacruz yard. Also, work on rectifying the rail alignment on Bandra-Khar route was also taken up. Both, according to the railway officials, were complex works.
“The speed restrictions on Bandra-Khar route have been there since the 1970s. We also carried out remodeling of Santacruz rail lines that had diamond crossing there; both of which were difficult works,” said a WR official.
Apart from this, they also completed work on remodeling of Mahim yard which has smoothened the track alignment and its curvature. It has also created space to park three trains at night. They have also extended the length of platforms on stations falling on Andheri-Virar route. These can now accommodate 15-car trains even on slow lines which earlier could accommodate only 12-car trains; thus augmenting 33 percent more carrying capacity on their system.