Thursday, August 1, 2013

Can IIT-Bombay help in improving Mumbai local train operations?


Mumbai: The Western Railway looks determined to improve the services for over 36 lakh commuters who use suburban services on a daily basis. The Western Railway (WR) has approached the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, (IIT-B) to study ways to improve suburban railway operations. A presentation was made to railway officials on Wednesday.
"During the presentation, IIT-B concluded that their theoretical plan of scheduling services was more or less correct. However, certain changes in signalling and acceleration of trains were suggested to improve punctuality.
Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer of WR said, "IIT-B has been asked to come out with a report to help the administration optimise its resources. While Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) will purchase software worth Rs 5 crore from a German company, WR is looking at improving its suburban operations."
Western Railway runs nearly 1,250 services, of which 1,116 are 12-car, 14 are 15-car and 120 are 9-car. But the facility is proving inadequate for 36 lakh commuters. At a commuter interface meeting in February this year, some passengers had requested WR's general manager Mahesh Kumar to increase the number of services. Besides, they also asked for the installation of escalators at Borivli station and an increase in the height of platforms to cut down on the gap with train footboards.
WR had then decided to increase the height of 10 platforms at 900 mm. This was to help reduce the gap between the foot of the train and surface of the platform. "We have sought permission to increase the height to 920 mm. However, the Research and Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) allowed to limit the size only upto 900 mm," Mahesh Kumar had informed earlier.


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