Local trains that run between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kalyan, Titwala, Badlapur and beyond, cannot be augmented to 15 cars from the current 12 cars due to lack of enough stabling lines, said a senior official of Central Railway (CR).
Stabling lines are where trains are parked and maintained when not in operation. At present, the CR has only two rakes of 15 cars each, which does 22 trips everyday.
According to the official, who did not want to be named, there are two stabling lines at Kalyan goods yard and on platform number 7 at CSMT. However, they are not enough for the augmentation of trains to 15 coaches.
Another senior official from CSMT headquarters explained, “The existing carsheds have already been augmented for trains that were converted into 12 cars from nine cars. Expanding it further will require shifting of tracks, points, etc., which is difficult, especially in Mumbai. Also, at many places the land near railway tracks and depots are encroached. So augmentation of trains will be possible only with the development of new depots/car sheds.”
The CR is also unable to increase or add new services as trains are running every three-and-half minutes and the existing tracks have heavy traffic congestion since they also cater to long distance trains.
Until new or additional tracks are laid, no new services can be introduced, said the CR official. In February 2022, the CR had introduced 36 new services of AC local trains. However, non-AC services of local trains have not been increased in the recent past.
The CR operates 1,810 local services daily (weekdays), serving nearly 37 lakh passengers.
The WR augmented 49 local train services to 15 cars from 12 cars, each enabling 25 per cent more carrying capacity.
The WR Mumbai suburban network is from Churchgate to Dahanu. They run a total of 1,394 services, including 79 AC local services daily.