Thursday, November 11, 2010

Now, WR will have 32 12-car locals

MUMBAI: Traveling on a local is set to get a tad easier. From Sunday, Western Railway (WR) will augment 32 nine-car services to 12-car ones. This will increase the carrying capacity by 33%. Of the 32 augmented services, 22 are between Borivli and Churchgate, six between Andheri and Churchgate and one each between Borivli-Mahalaxmi and Malad-Churchgate stations as well as two between Churchgate and Bandra stations. Details of the timings can be seen or downloaded from the WR website: www.wr.indianrail.gov.in

WR runs 1,210 services each day of which 798 or 66% are 12-car. With the addition of the new services, there would be a drop of 7.5 % in 9-car services, which on Wednesday stood at 432 and on Sunday will be 400.

Chief PRO, WR, Sharat Chandrayan said that the emphasis, in the last few years, has been on improving capacity without affecting punctuality. He claimed that WR averages a punctuality of 96% a day. "There has been an increase in punctuality after the closure of level-crossing gates. Even though trains may run behind schedule at intermediate stations, they catch up at the terminating ones," he said. Incidentally, punctuality is recorded at terminating stations.

"Increasing the number of 12-car services is an important step towards boosting capacity without congestion of the section (increase in trains)," he said. In the last three years, there has been a 56% increase in 12-car services. The hike in the number of passengers in the same period has been only 6%. According to WR officials, congestion in locals has dropped by 20% since 2007.

At present, WR has 76 rakes in its fleet. From Sunday, two 9-car trains would be augmented to 12-car ones and the fleet break-up would be 53 12-car trains, 22 nine-car trains and one 15-car train. From November 15, WR's 15-car rake will have halts at Mira Road, Bhayander and Nalasopara stations. Chandrayan also said that in a month from now, platform 6 at Andheri would be extended to accommodate a 12-car train. WR runs its trains to the Harbour line terminating platform, which until now was able to accommodate only nine-car trains. There are also plans to extend other Harbour line platforms, which fall in WR's jurisdiction.

WR will get 26 new DC_AC rakes by March next year, which would ensure more services as well as more 12-car services. It would also switch over to the more powerful 25,000 volts DC traction by June 2011.

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