INDIA: A further programme of enhancements to increase capacity on the Mumbai suburban network was formally approved by the national government’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on March 7, and is expected to be completed in five years.
Mumbai’s 385 route-km suburban network currently carries around 8 million passengers/day on 3 000 trains. Phase IIIA of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project has been drawn up Mumbai Rail Vikas Corp in co-operation with the Central and Western railways to alleviate the worst overcrowding and provide for further growth. The Rs336·9bn cost is to be jointly funded by Indian Railways and the Maharashtra state government, which approved the plans in December.
The package includes additional tracks to help segregate suburban and long-distance trains, including four-tracking of the Western Railway main line from Andheri to Virar. New elevated tracks will be built to increase capacity on Central Railway’s Harbour Line between Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus and Panvel.
CBTC is to be installed on both suburban networks to improve safety and operational efficiency, as well as supporting more frequent services, for which a further 210 air-conditioned EMUs with power doors are to be procured. Stations are to be remodelled with more capacity and additional entrances and exits to improve passenger flows.
MRVC has already started the environmental impact assessment and land acquisition process for the Harbour Line expansion, which is intended to improve east-west connectivity between the historic city centre and the extended suburbs of Navi Mumbai, east of Thane Creek.