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How other cities are doing and efforts in improving Suburban Rail services

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Commuter Rail

Central Railway completes 90 Years of Electric Local Train  :  Tuesday was a red-letter day for the Central Railway as it celebrated the first-ever run of an electrical multiple unit (EMU) exactly 90 years ago on February 3, 1925.

From where to where did it run?

A four-coach rake, it was flagged off by then governor of Mumbai Sir Leslie Wilson, and it ran between Victoria Terminus, now Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, and Kurla on the Harbour Line.

However, much has changed since then, something acknowledged in an official statement sent by CR to commemorate the occasion.

What’s the Harbour Line of today like?

Harbour Line today is possibly the fastest growing suburban segment in the country, with an annual passenger growth of over 9% for the past decade. The fact that it runs some of the oldest Direct Current rakes, that too nine-coach, on its tracks has also meant that it faces more frequent traffic disruptions than other CR segments, agreed officials.

The running of coal and fuel wagons, the main revenue earner for the railways, is an added headache for the people who regularly commute on the Harbour Line.

What are the positives on the anvil?
In the past two to three years, good news is slowly trickling in for the section. There are plans to create a 49-kilometre air-conditioned elevated corridor between CST and Panvel with a spur going to the proposed Navi Mumbai airport.

Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation, which is working on lengthening the platforms of Harbour Line to run 12-coach trains, believes the work should be completed by the end of this year or early next year.
By next year, work on converting its electrical systems from 1,500-volt Direct Current to 25,000-volt Alternating Current is also expected to begin.

How the locals got longer over the years
1925: 4-coach on Harbour Line
1927: 8-coach on Main Line and Harbour Line
1961: 9-coach on Main Line
1986: 12-coach on Main Line
1987: 12-coach towards Karjat
2008: 12-coach towards Kasara
2010: 12-coach on Transharbour Line
2012: 15-coach on Main Line

How the services, crowds increased
1925: 150 services and 2.2 lakh passengers daily
1935: 330 services and 3 lakh passengers daily
1945: 485 services daily; passenger figure not available
1951: 519 services and 4 lakh passengers daily
1961: 553 services and 5 lakh passengers daily
1971: 586 services and 6 lakh passengers daily
1981: 703 services and 13.2 lakh passengers daily
1991: 1,015 services and 23.5 lakh passengers daily
2001: 1,086 services and 28.5 lakh passengers daily
2015: 1,618 services and 41 lakh passengers daily


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MRVC officials in Delhi to get Mumbai’s railway network its due

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 In a forceful bid to get the Rs 11,000-crore phase 3 of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) into the railway budget, top officials of the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) were in Delhi over the past couple of days holding meetings with Railway Board officials.

With Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis having cleared phase 3 on January 8 and railway minister Suresh Prabhu seen as someone keen on big-ticket projects, railway officials in the city are optimistic that the budget won’t be a damp squib like some of the previous budgets have been for city creaking railway system.

The new truncated version of phase 3 of the MUTP might not be as expansive as the Rs 54,000 crore plan that was initially thought up in 2010 but officials said that it still had the potential to bring about a positive change in suburban commuting.

The biggest project under phase 3 is the creation of two new lines between Virar and Dahanu to allow railways to run more suburban trains on the section as well as more passenger trains.

Among the big projects in it is the creation of a Panvel-Karjat suburban line. The route, currently a single line used by trains like the Pune-Ernakulam and Pune-Bhusawal express, if upgraded and converted to a suburban line can cut the distance between CST and Karjat from 100 kilometres to just 77 kilometres. It would also give relief thousands of commuters who need to get to Navi Mumbai from Karjat by making the cross-over at Thane to switch on to the Transharbour line or Kurla to hop onto the Harbour line.

Another project under phase 3 is the Airoli-Kalwa connector. The connector, an elevated rail line about 4 kms in length, will allow more people to reach Navi Mumbai without putting added pressure on the already-congested Thane station.

“Currently people have to come to Thane and then take the Thane-Vashi route- also called transharbour- to get to Navi Mumbai. The other option of course is the longer one to go to Kurla and then opt for the conventional harbour line.all the way to Panvel, The plan is one where we are enabling more people to reach Navi Mumbai and the more important part is that some of the crowding that occurs in Thane can be lessened” said the official.

The upside for the project is that it does not require much land acquisition as the elevated bridge will run on railway land parcel available as part of the Kalwa carshed.

The phase 3 also includes an ambitious plan to completely redevelop 20 suburban stations and also bring about infrastructure development at and between 12 chosen stations to reduce the problem of people crossing tracks and getting run over by trains. Phase 3 will also see the buying of new rakes, this time with automatic sliding doors, said officials.      When did the State Govt officials went to Delhi to push for Bangalore Suburban Rail,  during last 5 years, not even single time they did not do it itself shows the good intentions of State govt of implementing Bangalore Suburban Rail.

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Techies ask WIPRO to provide shuttel service to Station

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It is common for techies to ask their company for drop facility to their homes. However, now some techies are demanding drop/pick-up facility to the railway station near the workplace. Rama S, a techie, said he travels from his home in Sanjay Nagar to his office in Sarjapur by train. "The train service is more convenient. I leave home at 6.30 am to take the 6.45 am (Yeswanthapur-Hosur) train at Hebbal station. I can see a lot of techies like me boarding the train. We get down at Karmelaram station at 7.30 am and reach office by 7.55 am. In case I miss the train journey on that day, I would end up reaching office not before 9 am to 9.30 am. Similarly, I have a return train at 6.23 pm and can reach Hebbal station by 6.47 pm without any hassles.

However, our biggest problem is reaching the office from the railway station. We need to walk a bit before taking a bus and getting down at the office. As we are quite a number of commuters, we have hired a private cab which would pick us up and drop us back. But the private cab service is not regular and we face problems. Hence, we have requested our company to provide us shuttle services."

In fact, a lot more techies travel on the same train to Heelalige station (it reaches the station at 7.35 am). However, they have a tough time reaching the Electronics City campus from Heelalige as they need to walk some distance to catch a bus which will drop them at the Electronics City road and from there, they need to again walk till their office. They too have petitioned their company to provide a shuttle service.

Confirming the letters, a statement by Wipro said, "We are examining integrating multiple modes of public transportation into the employee commute system; this includes shuttle services to connect the nearest railway stations. This is part of a larger scheme that Wipro is working on to provide ease of transport to its employees. Wipro will share details of this plan in due course."

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Bangalore needs Integrated Transport Authority: Railway Minister

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Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said Bengaluru needs an integrated transport solution authority for creating ways for a multi-modal seamless commuting experience for the people.

He was addressing the concerns of the people regarding railway projects in the City after launching four new trains from Bengaluru to other destinations.

Prabhu said: “I am aware of the need for suburban rail network to connect the City with Mysuru, Tumakuru and other suburbs. We will find the best way to take the project further and will execute it in an innovative way which will have the integrated transport solution.”

Prior to Prabhu’s statement, Union Law Minister Sadandnada Gowda, State Ministers Ramalinga Reddy, R V Deshpande, Dinesh Gundu Rao and Banaglore Rural MP D K Suresh made out a strong case for a suburban rail connectivity and apprised the Railway Minister that already RITES has done a feasibility study.

P C Mohan’s largesse

Bangalore Central MP, P C Mohan donated Rs one crore from his MPLADS fund for developing a halting station at Whitefield and another Rs 10 lakh for providing benches and chairs at the City railway station.

Mohan said about 10,000 techies use the Whitefield station which does not even have a platform. Suresh Prabhu, lauding Mohan’s gesture, said this is the first time an MP has heeded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suggestion of MP’s donating funds. “I will show this letter to every MP so that they also get inspired and make donation to railways for public welfare as daily three crore people travel in Indian trains.” comment guidelines

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