In a welcoming news for the Mumbaikars, an AC local train on the new Thane–Diva section of Central Railways (CR) will start soon.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off trains on the Mumbai suburban network on February 18 via video conferencing. Meanwhile, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will physically attend the event.
This development comes soon after the fifth and sixth lines between Thane and Diva route were started earlier this month. However, this also comes at a time when the data shows that commuters traveling on the Mumbai local trains however have not preferred AC local trains services owing to less frequency and high fare as compared to the Non-AC local trains.
As per accounts, the new lines have created paths for about 80 to 100 new services and the CR has procured an AC local train to be used for the line.
If experts are to be believed this project, sanctioned in 2008 and a part of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) 2B, is crucial for the Railways as it will be a key factor in segregating outstation and local train rail corridors and thus improve the speed/frequency of trains.
In addition, CR has planned to introduce 36 new services – 34 AC and 2 non-AC trains – on the main line between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kalyan and Kasara railway stations.
With this, there will be a total of 44 AC local train services offering cool rides to the Mumbaikars.
The official added that CR has acquired an air-conditioned train from the Western Railway to run these extra trips and also from the Harbor line of the CR.
Sources have claimed that the railway boards, including Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav and Minister of State for Railways Raosaheb Danve, are also in favor of reducing fares. Though, the Railway Board is yet to take any decision on the same.
Besides, it has come to light that 16 AC services on the harbour line are likely to be replaced by regular services. With this, the main line of Mumbai suburban railway has got a 35-km dedicated slow and fast corridors for suburban trains. Accordingly, new platforms have also been built at Kalwa and Mumbra stations.