One of the longest-running rail projects for adding two new rail lines on the 9 km-stretch of Thane-Diva will see its final works starting this Sunday.
However, this would mean that train services will remain disrupted as work on this stretch will go on for 10 hours. What's more likely is that such special mega block is expected during most weekends till January.
The planning body of Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) is going to carry out this work for which they have sought permission from the Central Railway for this 10-hour long mega block. This mega block is between Kalwa and Mumbra starting from 8 am to 6 pm. The work involves slewing of Up slow line for Thane-Diva 5th & 6th Lines.
According to rail officials, this simply means that tracks will be linked and other allied works pertaining to overhead cables will also be carried out. After all the work is complete by January 2022, once these two new rail lines are ready, the rail authorities can add 100 more suburban services. They will shift the long-distance trains on the 5-6 lines all the way from Kurla LTT till Kalyan. At present, the six rail lines narrow down to four at Thane causing a bottleneck thus delaying train services.
Chief PRO for Central Railway, Shivaji Sutar said, “The Up slow/semi-fast services leaving Kalyan from 7.27 am to 5.40 pm will be diverted on Up fast line between Diva and Mulund stations; further re-diverted at Mulund. The trains shall arrive at their destination 10 minutes behind schedule."
The CR will cancel 89 services but shall also run 22 extra trains on CSMT-Thane/ Dombivali/ Kalyan routes. Also, all local trains leaving Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) from 8am to 5pm and arriving at CSMT from 9 am to 7 pm will arrive 10 minutes behind schedule. The last local before block for Kalwa and Mumbra stations will depart Diva at 7.38 am while the first local after block will depart from Diva at 6.02 pm.
There will be considerable number of trains that shall be cancelled as well. The rail authorities have asked the state government to run additional bus services on this stretch to lessen the inconvenience caused.
Work on this 9-km route is ongoing for 11 years now. Initially, it was marred due to encroachments and later technical glitches. The trials will begin after this long works after which it will be opened for the public. The deadline for the project, sanctioned in 2008, was December 2015, which was revised to December 2017, then to March 2019, June 2020, December 2021 and now March 2022. The cost has escalated from about Rs 130 crore to Rs 440 crore.