After conducting successful trial runs on the extended corridor between suburban Andheri and Goregaon stations, officials are hopeful that Harbour line services from Panvel finally start plying on the new extension by the next month.
According to railway officials, the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the implementing agency of the project, has successfully completed the trial runs between the two stations.
“Besides the trials, the necessary civic works on the corridor are completed.
We are now in the position to operate the services on the extended corridor very soon,” they said.
The corridor, a part of the second phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP-2), is expected to ease pressure on the western line, which ferries around 35 lakh commuters every day.
Once activated, commuting will become easier for thousands of Mumbaikars who travel daily between Goregaon, CSMT and Panvel.
Western Harbour line services currently run between Panvel and Andheri.
“MRVC is now awaiting the mandatory nod from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) and when it comes, the extended stretch from Andheri to Goregaon will become operational in few days,” said Western Railway (WR) Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Bhaker.
An MVRC official said a formal announcement about the launch of the services will be made after securing the CRS nod.
“As soon as we get the nod from the CRS, we will announce the exact date of rolling out the services and the timetable of trains. The extended corridor will certainly benefit thousands of daily commuters,” he said.
S K Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Mumbai, Central Railway, said they are awaiting a signal from the MRVC.
Harbour line is part of the Central Railway services.
“We need to rework a fresh time table of our Harbour corridor services in the wake of the extended stretch because the arrival and departure timings of trains will change,” Jain said.
Currently, CR and WR collectively operate 23 services on Harbour corridor between CSMT and Andheri.
The extended corridor to Goregaon will include Jogeshwari and newly-created Ram Mandir stations.
The WR also has plans to extend almost half of its Churchgate-Andheri services up to Goregaon.
A senior official said that more services to Goregaon will also benefit commuters from Jogeshwari and Ram Mandir stations.
For the extended corridor, new platforms have been created at Jogeshwari station.
The extended corridor was first announced in the year 2008 as part of the MUTP-2 project and the actual work started in the year 2009.