Indian Railways is to introduce a new air-conditioned suburban train service in Mumbai to boost capacity on the over-exhausted western suburban railway service.
The new $4 billion 63.27 km elevated rail corridor linking Oval Maidan, South Mumbai, and Virar – the northern most railway station of Mumbai Suburban Railway – will have two-track corridor along the existing Churchgate-Virar section, which is operated by the Western Railway (WR) Zone of Indian Railways.
Out of the 62.27 km corridor, 42.72 km route will be on elevated track, 8.04 km will be underground and the remaining 12.52 at grade (ground level).
It will have with 26 stations, which have been designed for trains to run at an optimum speed of 100 kmph.
Out of 26 stations, five stations would be underground, 19 stations will be elevated and two stations will be at grade. In the underground sections, the rail level will be around 15 metres below ground level.
The project has received personal attention of the prime minister office (PMO), who said: “Mumbai elevated rail corridor project which is the most advanced stage. The technical feasibility study has already been conducted and concessionaire shall be finalized by March 15, 2013.”
“The project will be implemented on a public private partnership (PPP) mode on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis and the draft state support agreement has been agreed to between the government of Maharashtra and the Railways Ministry,” a Western Railway official said.
As per Indian Railways estimate, around 1.7 million passengers would use the corridor, when it opens 2019-20. It plans to run 19 hours services daily from 5am till late night and expects the trains will carry 90,000 people.
The Ministry of Railways has constituted a project steering group to monitor the implementation of the project including finalising the documentation, overseeing the bidding process, and awarding the contract in a timely manner.