For decades, the suburban train network in Mumbai has been hailed as the lifeline of the city. It’s been the preferred mode of transportation for Mumbaikars. However, there’s a particular time when train travel is put on hold, from 1 pm to 4 am. During this period, essential railway repair and maintenance work is carried out, including track repairs, signal updates, and other technical adjustments. But the standard timeframe isn’t always sufficient to complete these tasks.
To address this challenge, railway employees and officials have implemented a solution – ‘mega blocks’ on Sundays. These mega blocks are vital for maintaining the local train network.
The 6th Line Project
The Western Railway has taken on an ambitious project to fast-track the 6th line over the Mumbai suburban section. This work, spanning 8.8 km between Khar and Goregaon, began on October 7, 2023, and is progressing rapidly. Once completed, this project promises significant benefits to passengers, especially Mumbai’s daily commuters. It will open the door for more train services, as mentioned in a press release by Western Railways on October 10, 2023.
However, during this project, approximately 2,700 services will be canceled, and about 400 services will be partially canceled or short-terminated. Long-distance trains will also be affected, with around 60 cancellations and 200 partial cancellations or short terminations expected.
Phases of Work
To manage this complex project, specific phases of work have been implemented. The initial 10-13 days didn’t involve any train cancellations, but from October 20, 2023, suburban train services were affected.
Various types of work were conducted, including non-interlocking work in six yards: Goregaon, Jogeshwari, Andheri, Vile Parle, Santacruz, and Bandra Terminus. The work was performed without causing disruption to local services. There was also a night block lasting around 5 hours from October 7 to October 26.
Starting from October 27, blocks lasting 4 to 10 hours were introduced during specific time periods. This resulted in daily cancellations of 100 to 250 local trains. Due to non-interlocking work, train speeds near the yards were restricted to 30 kmph, causing delays of up to two to three hours on local journeys. Additionally, Andheri Platform No. 9 was suspended from October 19/20 until the non-interlocking work is complete.
Upcoming 24 Hour Mega Block
Now a 24 hour block will be conducted from 9 pm on Saturday 4th November to 9 pm on Sunday 5th November. 100 local trains and 9 long distance trains will be cancelled during this block. Also 25 trains will be partially cancelled. As a result, local travel on Saturdays and Sundays will be difficult.
The final phase of the sixth line work is set for November 4 and 5. A 24 hour mega block will be in place during this time to connect the railway track. Following this, the work will be inspected by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) on November 5 and 6. The decision to start the sixth route will be made based on this inspection.
Once the sixth line work is completed, it will enhance the efficiency and punctuality of Western Railway services. This project will also help reduce the load on the fifth line, opening up opportunities for more local and long-distance trains in the future.
You can read complete press release of Western Railway on the link: WR Press Release
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