Mumbai's Mega Block: Railway Network Revamp

Mumbai's Central Railway will enact a 63-hour mega block starting May 30 midnight to extend and widen platforms at CSMT and Thane stations. This upgrade aims to accommodate more passengers and improve infrastructure, impacting local and long-distance train services. Commuters are advised to plan accordingly.

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 29-05-2024 23:34 IST | Created: 29-05-2024 23:34 IST
Mumbai's Mega Block: Railway Network Revamp
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The Central Railway will operate a 63-hour mega block from May 30 midnight for platform extension works on the Mumbai network, a move that will affect the services of local trains, the lifeline of the city, and the work schedule of lakhs of commuters.

As services of local as well as long-distance trains are expected to be affected during the block period, the railways have appealed to commuters to avoid travelling by local trains, if not necessary.

The mega block will be operated for platform extension and widening works at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in south Mumbai and the Thane station.

''A 63-hour mega block for the widening of platform nos 5 and 6 (in Thane) will start from Thursday midnight while a 36-hour block for the works related to the extension of platform nos 10 and 11 (at CSMT) will kick in from Friday midnight,'' Rajneesh Goyal, divisional railway manager of Central Railway's Mumbai division, told a press conference on Wednesday.

He said once the platform breadth is widened, facilities like escalators or wider staircases for Foot Over Bridge (FOB) can be provided.

Swapnil Nila, chief public relations officer of Central Railways, said a total of 72 mail-express trains and 956 suburban trains on the main and Harbour corridors will remain cancelled from Friday to Sunday.

Several mail-express and suburban trains will be short-terminated and short-originated from Wadala, Dadar, Thane, Pune, Panvel and Nashik stations.

''There will be unavoidable cancellation of suburban trains. Hence, we request all the establishments to allow your staff to work from home or any other means possible to reduce the number of passengers on these days,'' Nila said.

He said the Railways has requested the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) and Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to operate extra buses for the convenience of passengers.

The block for the works related to the extension of platforms at CSMT and widening of platforms at Thane station will end at 3.30 pm on Sunday, as per a Central Railway release.

At CSMT, the length of platform nos 10 and 11 has been extended to accommodate 24-coach trains from the earlier 16 coaches.

While the extension-related work is already completed, the mega block will be operated mainly for carrying out non-interlocking (related to track changing points) works.

At Thane, platforms nos 5 and 6, which witness overcrowding due to the narrow width and operation of both mail/express and local trains, are being widened by 2-3 metres.

According to Central Railway, a total of 930 local train services, including 161 on Friday, 534 on Saturday and 235 on Sunday, will be cancelled during the mega block at CSMT and Thane.

Initially, the railways had announced cancellation of 956 local train services but later it decided to operate 26 services.

During the block period, Central Railway will short-terminate and short-originate local as well as long-distance trains from Dadar, Thane, Wadala, Nasik and Panvel stations.

The Railways will short-terminate 444 suburban services, including seven on Friday, 306 on Saturday and 131 on Sunday. A total of 446 local train services, including 307 on Saturday and 139 on Sunday, will originate from various stations.

''These blocks are essential for infrastructure upgradation and long-term benefits. Passengers are requested to bear with the Railway administration for the inconvenience caused,'' the CR said.

Goyal said the CR has also almost completed the work for providing a double-discharge facility on platforms 10 and 11 of the busy Dadar station and planning to finish the pending work in the next two days.

The Centra Railway operates more than 1,800 local train services on its four corridors- Main, Harbour, Trans-Harbour, and Uran, every day, which are used by more than 30 lakh commuters.

The platform widening work at Thane station would have taken three to six months in normal course, Central Railway officials said.

The CR is adopting a new technology which will enable it to complete the work in less than three days.

''Usually it takes six months for the construction of a platform and if done very fast, at least three months. That is not possible in Thane's case and hence we are using hollow pre-cast blocks,'' an official said.

The platforms at the Thane station are mainly used for fast suburban local and long-distance trains. Hence, the widening work will be carried out on the DOWN fast line (towards Kalyan) and UP line (towards CSMT).

''The widening of platforms is important as a measure to control crowds on FOBs and platforms at Thane station,'' chief PRO Swapnil Nila said.

''We will be carrying 785 RCC boxes weighing two tonnes each to the platforms. These will be loaded on wagons that are usually used to ferry army tanks,'' said a CR official.

During the mega block, the tracks and overhead equipment will be shifted. Thereafter, precast RCC boxes will be placed and filled with construction material.

''We conducted a trial for laying this and it took around five minutes per RCC box,'' DRM Goyal said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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