Western Line (Mumbai Suburban Railway)

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Western Line
Overview
System Mumbai Suburban Railway
Locale Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Thane district, Maharashtra, India
Palghar district, Maharashtra, India
Termini Churchgate (south)
Dahanu Road (north)
Stations 36
Services
Daily ridership 3.48 million[1]
Website WR Mumbai Suburban
Operation
Opening 12 April 1867 (1867-04-12)
Owner Indian Railway
Operator(s) Western Railway (WR)
Character At grade
Depot(s) Virar, Kandivali and Mumbai Central
Technical
Line length 123.78 km (76.91 mi)
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Electrification 25,000 V AC through overhead catenary
Operating speed 100 km/h (62 mph)

The Western Line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway is a public transit system serving Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Maharashtra. It consists of 36 stations from Dahanu Road to Churchgate railway station. It is operated by Western Railways (WR). The entire line is at grade.

Trains are differentiated as slow and fast locals. Slow trains stop at all stations, while fast ones stop at important stations only and are preferable over longer distances. Trains usually start from and terminate at important stations. Sections in Churchgate railway station to Virar railway station is in Quadruple track An EMU car shed has been built between Nala Sopara and Virar which is the largest car shed in Asia. A repair shop for EMUs is situated at Mahalaxmi. There are also EMU car sheds at Mumbai Central and Kandivali.

History[edit]

Newly cladded Churchgate Station, Western Railway Headquarter

Suburban service on what is now the Western Line was offered by the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway, which began running steam trains in 1867.[2] Rakes operating on DC electricity were introduced on January 5, 1928. Sir Leslie Wilson, the then-Governor of Bombay inaugurated the line running between Colaba and Borivili at Mahalaxmi, in the presence of 700 invitees.[3]

The proposal to ply Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains between Dahanu and Churchgate was approved in the 2012-13 Railway Budget. In March 2013, 18 MEMU services ran between Virar and Dahanu daily.[4][5]

On 16 April 2013, the 160th anniversary of the Indian Railways,[6] Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated the first EMU service between Churchgate and Dahanu Road.[7][8] The first Churchgate-Dahanu local was flagged off around 10:47am and arrived at Churchgate at 1:44pm. Prior to the launch of this service, EMU services on WR only ran on the 60 km stretch between Churchgate and Virar.[9][10]

Timeline[edit]

  • 1867: The BB&CI commences daily service between Virar and Backbay
  • 1870: Churchgate station opened
  • 1873: Colaba Terminus commissioned
  • 1928: First electric train runs between Colaba & Borivili
  • 1930: Colaba station closed[2]
  • 1936: Steam engines are withdrawn from service; Borivili - Virar section electrified[3]
  • 2 March 1961: Introduction of 9-car trains
  • 1972: Total number of services crosses the 500 mark
  • 1986: Introduction of 12-car trains
  • 1992: Introduction of special trains for ladies and reserved seating for seniors
  • 1993: Introduction of special handicapped compartment
  • 2003: Total number of services crosses the 1,000 mark
  • 2007: Indian Railways' first ATVMs introduced on WR; DC-AC conversion of Borivili - Virar section completed[3]
  • 21 November 2009 : Introduction of 15-car rakes
  • November 2011: DC-AC conversion of Borivili - Vile Parle section complete[3]
  • 5 February 2012 : Conversion from DC to AC traction completed
  • 16 April 2013 : Extension of line from Virar to Dahanu Road

Stations[edit]

New trains on the Western Railway
Train leaving Churchgate station
SantaCruz station

(Names in bold indicate that the station is a fast train stop.)

Western Line
# Station Name Railway Station Code Connections
English Marathi Hindi
1 Churchgate चर्चगेट चर्चगेट CCG None
2 Marine Lines मरीन लाईन्स मरीन लाईन्स MEL None
3 Charni Road चर्नी रोड चर्नी रोड CYR None
4 Grant Road ग्रँट रोड ग्रँट रोड GTR None
5 Mumbai Central मुंबई सेंट्रल मुंबई सेंट्रल BCL None
6 Mahalaxmi महालक्ष्मी महालक्ष्मी MX None
7 Lower Parel लोअर परळ लोअर परेल PL None
8 Elphinstone Road एल्फिन्स्टन रोड एल्फिन्स्टन रोड EPR Parel
(Central Line)
9 Dadar दादर दादर DDR Central Line
10 Matunga Road माटुंगा रोड माटुंगा रोड MRU None
11 Mahim माहिम माहिम MM Harbour Line
12 Bandra वांद्रे' बान्दरा BA Harbour Line
13 Khar Road खार रोड खार रोड KHAR Harbour Line
14 Santacruz सांताक्रुझ सांताक्रुझ STC Harbour Line
15 Vile Parle विले पार्ले विले पार्ले VLP Harbour Line
16 Andheri अंधेरी अंधेरी ADH Harbour Line
17 Jogeshwari जोगेश्वरी जोगेश्वरी JOS None
18 Goregaon गोरेगाँव गोरेगाँव GMN None
19 Malad मालाड मालाड MDD None
20 Kandivali कांदिवली कांदिवली KILE None
21 Borivali बोरिवली बोरिवली BVI None
22 Dahisar दहिसर दहिसर DIC None
23 Mira Road मीरा रोड मीरा रोड MIRA None
24 Bhayandar भाईंदर भाईंदर BYR None
25 Naigaon नायगांव नायगांव NIG None
26 Vasai Road वसई रोड वसई रोड BSR (To panvel,harbour line) Central Line
27 Nala Sopara नालासोपारा नालासोपारा NSP None
28 Virar विरार विरार VR None
29 Vaitarna वैतरणा वैतरना VTN None
30 Saphale सफाळे सफाले SAH None
31 Kelve Road केळवे रोड केलवे रोड KLV None
32 Palghar पालघर पालघर PLG None
33 Umroli उमरोळी उमरोली UOI None
34 Boisar बोईसर बोईसर BOR None
35 Vangaon वाणगाँव वानगाँव VGN None
36 Dahanu Road डहाणू रोड दहानू रोड DRD None

‡ indicates stations which Fast Up trains (to Churchgate) skip from around 5PM to 8PM.[11]

A footbridge links Elphinstone Road to Parel on the Central Line.

Churchgate station is the Terminus station at the South End of Mumbai City. In Mumbai, Western Railway (WR) Suburban trains use this station as terminus. Long distance trains and goods trains do not use this station.

Above list of stations is mentioned from South end going towards North suburban areas falling on WR corridor.

Andheri Station

Electrification[edit]

Churchgate station, during rush hour.

Western Railway's EMU fleet consists of EMUs running on AC 25 kV power. WR uses seven 9-car rakes.

The Western Line began running electric trains with DC power on 5 January 1928.[12]

On 5 February 2012, WR finished converting the entire Western Line from the earlier used 1,500V DC to 25 kV AC power. The entire power conversion project cost about INR500 crore. Since 25,000V AC power is 17 times stronger than DC, people riding on top of the trains will be killed if they come into contact with the overhead wires.[13]

The project was also expected to improve the punctuality of train services, make them energy-efficient and allow a greater number of 12-coach and 15-coach trains to ply. Post-conversion, local trains will be able to achieve speeds of 100 km/h with ease. The next step would be to convert the remaining 9-coach trains to 12-coach ones, thus augmenting the carrying capacity by 33%.[14] The system will need less maintenance.[15]

While using DC traction, 22 substations provided power to suburban trains on the Western Line. Since switching over to AC traction, substations at Mahalaxmi, Bandra, Jogeshwari, Borivli and Vasai supply 25,000V power to local trains.[16]

Services[edit]

As of 27 March 2012, the Western Line has approximately 1,290 local services running which carry about 35.5 lakh commuters every day.[17] These 1290 local services are operated using 80 trains.[18] Western Railways' EMUs are in 12 car and 15 car formations.[19]

The first 9-car service on the Western Line ran on 2 March 1961. The 9-car service has since been phased out and the last service ran on the Western Line on 20 November 2012.[20] However, 10 services (six on CR and four on WR) were still operated as 9-car even after that date as the track is shared by the Western Line and the Harbour Line. Harbour Line platforms are too short to accommodate longer trains.[21]

In 2010, 15 car services between Churchgate and Virar were introduced.[22] They halt at all the stations between Borivli and Virar, and do not halt at any stations between Churchgate and Dadar. 15-coach trains are used in non-peak hours. They cannot be used in peak hours because the station platforms are too narrow to handle the increased foot traffic.[23]

No. of coaches No. of Services
Harbour Locals 110
12 1,150
15 30
Total 1,290[24]

Historical[edit]

The following table shows the number of services and daily ridership on the Western Line throughout its history.[25]

Year No. of Services Daily Ridership
1867 6 No data
1990-91 866 23 lakh
1991-92 900 25 lakh
2000-01 961 28.2 lakh
16 April 2013 1305 36 lakh

Facilities[edit]

Escalators[edit]

WR will inaugurate the Mumbai Suburban Railway's first escalators at Dadar, Andheri and Borivli stations by June or July. The escalators are intended particularly to benefit physically challenged and senior commuters.[26]

FOBs and Subways[edit]

As of 29 April 2013, there are 102 foot over bridges (FOB)[26] and 8 subways on the Western Line.[27]

Train Management System[edit]

The Train Management System (TMS) is used by both staff and passengers to monitor the location of trains. TMS enables commuters to know what trains will be arriving in the next 10 minutes. The system was implemented on the Western Line in 2004.[28]

Fatalities[edit]

In 2011, 1,313 commuters died in accidents on the Western Line, mainly via trespassing on ten particular stretches of track. Since mid-February 2012, Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel patrol the areas from 7am-11am and 5pm-10pm, the peak times for such incidents. Initially, they used posters in an education campaign and only cautioned offenders. They later escalated to arresting people.[29]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Western Railway to upgrade suburban capacity by almost 38,000 passengers". Rail.co. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  2. ^ a b WR brings Dahanu closer to city today - Times Of India. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  3. ^ a b c d Citizens inconvenienced by Western Railway mega block. Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2012-02-06). Retrieved on 2015-01-17.
  4. ^ Churchgate-Dahanu train by month-end - Times Of India. Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2013-03-19). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  5. ^ Churchgate-Dahanu trial run a success: WR - Mumbai - DNA. Dnaindia.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  6. ^ Churchgate-Dahanu local all set to roll from Tuesday - Mumbai - DNA. Dnaindia.com (2013-04-15). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  7. ^ Bansal launches train services on Dahanu-Churchgat. Zeenews.india.com (2013-04-16). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  8. ^ Western Railway. Wr.indianrailways.gov.in. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  9. ^ Dahanu-Churchgate local flagged off, enjoy seamless travel - Mumbai - DNA. Dnaindia.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  10. ^ "HC raps Western Railway for delay in service to Dahanu - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  11. ^ Timetable of the Western line between 5PM and 8PM
  12. ^ "Direct current local to chug into sunset on Feb 4". Daily News and Analysis. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Citizens inconvenienced by Western Railway mega block - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  14. ^ Mumbai: 25,000 volts to 'shock' rooftop travellers - India - IBNLive
  15. ^ "Western Railway sets stage for AC system - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  16. ^ "Western Railway claims overcrowding has reduced - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  17. ^ "Western Railway plans 36 more services from Tuesday - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  18. ^ WR commuters complain of poor ventilation - Hindustan Times
  19. ^ Western Railway. Wr.indianrailways.gov.in (2013-03-29). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  20. ^ "From today, no 9-car trains in Western Railway suburban section". The Indian Express. 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  21. ^ "By January 2013, Western Railway to roll out 55 new services". The Times of India. 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  22. ^ city anchor: Central Railway starts 16 new services on main line - Indian Express
  23. ^ Nair, Binoo (2012-01-23). "CR still in two minds over 15-car trains". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 2014-09-16. 
  24. ^ "Services". 
  25. ^ WR brings Dahanu closer to city today - Times Of India. Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2013-04-16). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  26. ^ a b ​By June, escalators on 3 Western Railway stations - Times Of India. Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2013-04-29). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  27. ^ WR opens two FOBs at Charni Road, Andheri - Hindustan Times
  28. ^ Mehta, Manthan K (26 July 2012). "Real-time tracking till Kalyan". The Times Of India. 
  29. ^ "Minor drop in deaths on tracks of Western Railways - The Times of India". The Times Of India.