After 96 long years, the Harbour line that saw the first EMU train run in Mumbai (then Bombay), will see some major upgrades.
The Central Railway (CR) for the first time will introduce 12 air-conditioned local train services starting December 1 running between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Vashi/Panvel Harbour line.
In February 1925, the first EMU train ran between Victoria Terminus (present CSMT) – Coorla (present Kurla) Harbour corridor.
The CR authorities will be replacing the existing non-AC train services for the same. According to the CR officials, they will introduce these 12 AC local train services on the Harbour line with effect from December 1. At present, they are running AC locals on the Mainline and Trans-harbour corridors.
“This is the first time we will run AC trains on Harbour line. These AC local train services will be operated from Monday to Saturday,” said Shivaji Sutar, Chief PRO, Central Railway.
The first AC local will depart from Vashi station at 4.25 am for CSMT, after which 11 other services will run end-to-end on the CSMT-Panvel corridor with the last AC local leaving CSMT at 8 pm.
On Sundays and holidays, this AC local will be replaced by the regular train. The Central Railway is operating a total of 26 AC local train services of which 16 are operating on the Trans-Harbour line between Thane-Vashi-Panvel and the remaining 10 are on the mainline.
The decision comes at a time when the Railway Ministry is looking to proliferate AC local services on suburban corridors of Mumbai. Earlier last week, the Western Railway added 8 more AC local train services taking the total to 20.
Interestingly the majority of these AC trains have begun on the slow corridor. In the near future, the ministry may convert all local trains with AC compartments.
Moreover, the CR will also extend all trains connecting Western Railway via Harbour line from CSMT to Goregaon, taking total services to 106. This jump is by over 2.5 times, considering they are running 42 services on the CSMT-Goregaon route. This will help nearly 6-8 lakh (current approx. numbers) people using the Harbour network for commuting from Navi Mumbai.
The revised suburban timetable for the harbour line, trans harbour line and 4th corridor i.e. Belapur/Nerul-Kharkopar line will be implemented from December 1. This would also mean that all trains on CSMT/Panvel-Andheri corridor will be extended till Goregaon.
At present, 44 services are being operated between CSMT and Andheri and 18 services run on the Panvel-Andheri section. Also, 2 services running between CSMT and Bandra too will be extended till Goregaon.