Mumbai's Harbour line to be extended to Goregaon
Commuters in Mumbai's western suburbs have some good news coming their way. The Western Railways invited tenders to begin work on extending the Harbour line from Andheri to Goregaon. Also, it has decided to deliver 56 new-age trains without a break to the western line at the rate of four every month. The trains will come in from October as part of the ongoing Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP-I). The Harbour line on WR has been under growing pressure as many commuters from Navi Mumbai travel to the Andheri-Goregaon-Malad belt on work. With several IT and entertainment companies and multiplexes concentrated on the Andheri-Goregaon-Malad belt, Western Railways’ plans to extend Harbour line to Goregaon from Andheri will be welcomed not only by those living in the western suburbs but also by Navi Mumbaikars who work in the areas. Moreover, the line will offer commuters living in the western suburbs the option of boarding trains from CST too. Currently, most of them take trains from Churchgate. P K Sharma, director (projects) at Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), said tenders had been called to begin earthwork to lay tracks between Andheri and Goregaon. “The work should start on ground by November,’’ he said, adding that the entire process of laying of tracks, signalling equipment, ballast and electrification would take 14 months.Sharma said the new tracks would run on the extreme western-end, taking off from where the Harbour line ended at Andheri. “The stormwater/sewage canals under the existing tracks between Andheri and Goregaon have to be widened to pass below the new tracks,’’ he explained, adding that a separate tender had been issued on Friday for widening the canals too.WR commuters, especially those living between Borivli and Virar, have another reason to cheer. Although the tracks between Borivli and Virar had been quadrupled last year, WR had not been able to utilise it fully due to shortage of new trains—it had got only three new-age trains under MUTP-I. MD of MRVC P C Sehgal said, “After giving three trains to WR, the ministry had decided to allot the next batch of 16 trains to Central Railway (CR) as it is a bigger division. With CR getting the last four trains in September, that order is come to a close.’’ Against this backdrop, Sehgal said the ministry had asked the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, to deliver 56 new generation trains to WR from October. “There will be no break in this order, no diversions to CR. ICF will be supplying four new trains every month solely to WR until it gets 56 in all,’’ he said. The MRVC has placed an order for 174 trains under MUTPI for CR and WR put together.