Western Railway has completed yet another major infrastructure project aimed at removing operational bottlenecks in order to improve train safety and speed. The work of realignment of curves and removal of diamond crossings as well as points on harbour lines at Mahim was successfully completed on August 21, 2022. The work started on June 20, 2022.
Due to this work, travel time will be decreased by 45 seconds over the section, which will prove helpful to improving the punctuality of local trains in the future. The removal of two diamond crossings and four points will also help in reducing the maintenance in Mahim Yard. Apart from that, the dismantling of redundant platforms on the UP Fast line and down Harbour lines at Mahim has created space for laying the 6th line.
The work of realignment of Curve No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the down Harbour line, the removal of 2 diamond crossings, and 4 points was successfully completed, said an officer of WR, adding that work involved dismantling of two redundant diamond crossovers and four points on the UP Fast line and down Harbour lines. Also, the work of dismantling redundant platforms on the above lines was undertaken, which created space for track slewing.
Points and crossings are used to divert trains from one track to another. Similarly, the double lines crossing from the North to the South and those from East to West form a square shape called the "diamond crossing" in railway lingo .
During the ongoing work, all down harbour trains skipped a 15-day stop at Mahim station. Slewing of curves 3 and 4 up to 550 mm in a total length of 800 metres (including 274 metre platform area) and slewing of curves 1 and 2 up to 1600 mm in a total length of 360 metres was undertaken. To improve track parameters, lateral cutting/extension of entire platform number 5 of the down harbour line, 2 metre shift of Point No. 112 towards north, and 2 metre slewing of a crossover towards west were also undertaken. Almost 4250 cubic metres of muck was excavated and removed from the site by poclain, JCB, and dumpers during this work.
The completion of this work has benefitted by removing the mobility constraints and will help in improving the speed over the section. Three Permanent Speed Restrictions (PSRs) of 35, 30 and 35 kmph have been relaxed to 50 kmph.
The dismantling of old platforms at Mahim has created space for laying the 5th and 6th lines. "Two new rail lines will come up in the space of these platforms, and after all the lines are commissioned together, the missing link of the 5th line will come into place," he added.
The 5th line has a missing link between Mahim and Khar, while the sixth line is an entirely new line between Mumbai Central and Borivali. The two-line corridor is being built for outstation trains so that four lines can be dedicated to local trains with two parallel corridors, one for slow and the other for fast. This will not only help decongest the network but also create more slots for additional trains. Meanwhile, the work to expand the third and fourth lines beyond Virar (up to Dahanu) is already under construction. "Once this happens, there will be minimal criss-cross of out-station trains on the WR suburban corridor," the official added.