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|Mumbai Suburban Railway
मुंबई उपनगरीय रेल्वे
|Locale||Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Maharashtra|
|Transit type||Suburban Rail|
|Number of lines||3|
|Number of stations|
|Daily ridership||7.24 Million|
|Annual ridership||2.64 Billion|
|Began operation||16 April 1853|
|Train length||9/12/15 coaches|
|System length||427.5 kilometres (265.6 mi)|
|Track gauge||1676 mm (5 ft 6 in) Broad Gauge|
|Electrification||1500V DC/25,000V AC Overhead catenary|
|Average speed||50 km/h (31 mph)|
|Top speed||100 km/h (62 mph)|
The Mumbai Suburban Railway (Marathi: मुंबई उपनगरीय रेल्वे) is a mass transit system serving the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. It is part of the public transport system of Mumbai, is provided for by the state-run Indian Railways' two zonal Western Railways and Central Railways. The system carries more than 7.24 million commuters on a daily basis. It has the highest passenger densities of any urban railway system in the world. The trains plying on its routes are commonly referred to as local trains or simply as locals by the general populace.
The Mumbai Suburban Railway, as well as Indian Railways, are an offshoot of the first railway to be built by the British in India in April 1853, and was also the oldest railway system in Asia. The first train ran between Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) and Thane, a distance of 34 km, on 16 April 1853 at 3:35PM. The Bombay Railway History Group has been striving to document railway heritage along this line.
Due to the geographical spread of the population and location of business areas, the rail network is the principal mode of mass transport in Mumbai. As Mumbai's population swelled from a heavy inflow of migrants in recent decades, frequent overcrowding has become a serious issue, and numerous safety concerns have been raised over the years. A metro system and a monorail system are under construction in Mumbai to ease the travelling conditions in the Suburban network.
Spread over 465 route kilometres, The Suburban Railway system operates on 1500 V DC / 25000 V AC power supply from overhead catenary lines. The suburban services are run by electric multiple units (EMUs). 191 rakes (train sets) of 9-car, 12-car & 15 car (on Western Line) composition are utilised to run 2342 train services, carrying 6.94 million passengers per day.
Two zonal railways, the Western Railway (WR) and the Central Railway (CR), operate the Mumbai Suburban Railway system. At present, the fast corridors on Central Railway as well as Western Railway are shared for long distance and freight trains. The Western Railway operates the Western Line and the Central Railway operates the Central and Harbour Lines. These 'lines' are not actually a single line but multiple lines consisting of several routes and multiple termini.
Two corridors (one local and the other through) on Western Railway run northwards from Churchgate parallel to the west coast up to Dahanu Road (120 km). These crs are popularly referred to as 'Western Line' by the locals mainly because it is operated and owned by the Western Railways.
Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) ply between Churchgate and Virar (64 km), while Mainline Electrical Multiple Units (MEMUs) service the section beyond Virar till Dahanu Road (60 km). MEMUs also operate between Dahanu Road and Panvel via a branch line from Vasai Road. There are EMU carsheds at Mumbai Central and Kandivali. An EMU car shed is under construction between Nala Sopara and Virar which will be the largest car shed in Asia. A repair shop for EMUs is situated at Mahalaxmi.
Western Railway's EMU fleet consists of EMUs running on AC (25 kV) power. EMUs are 9 car, 12 car or 15 car formations and are differentiated as slow and fast locals. Slow trains halt at all stations, while fast ones halt at important stations only and are preferable over longer distances.
The Central Line in Mumbai consists of 3 major corridors, which bifurcate as they run into suburban satellite towns. Two corridors (one local and other through) on Central Railway run from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to Kalyan (54 km), from where it bifurcates into two lines — one running up to Kasara (67 km) in the north-east and the other running up to Khopoli (61 km) in the south-east. These two corridors constitute the 'Main' Line. The Central main line shares two stations with the Western line at Parel and Dadar. They consist of a fleet of DC as well as dual-powered EMUs. The major car sheds on this line are at Kurla and Kalwa. There are fast and slow locals here for suburban service. Slow locals halt at every station, while fast locals halts vary between Byculla, Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup, Mulund, Thane, Dombivali and Kalyan. All services plying beyond Kalyan run slow.
The Central Line also includes a line connecting Vasai Road, Diva and Panvel. There is also a line from Nerul/CBD Belapur to Uran currently under construction. It is expected to be operational in 2015.
The Harbour line is part of the Central Railway, and runs a train corridor from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to Andheri, Thane and Panvel. All harbour line services operate as slow services. The line operates from two separate platforms at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), and the tracks cross over the main line at Sandhurst Road, to head towards stations along Mumbai's eastern dock area. A branch line from Wadala Road joins the Western Railway Line at Mahim and continues towards Andheri. The harbour line shares a common station at Kurla with the main line, where it turns east towards Navi Mumbai. The Harbour line further bifurcates at Vashi into two lines — one rejoins the main lines at Thane, while the other continues to Panvel. The shed of these trains is in Sanpada. A large section of the harbour line is elevated.
Navi Mumbai is expected to get approximately 180 km of railway tracks in the near future. Surveys by the MMRDA showed that passenger density in the satellite city was growing at a faster rate than both Western Railway and Central Railway’s main line. Navi Mumbai is expected to have a population of 48 lakh by 2021 and about 80% of the population will travel by train. The State Government, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and World Bank officials estimate that railway projects in Navi Mumbai and neighbouring areas of Raigad district will cost around 14,000-crore. [[File: ]] The routes proposed under the 14,000-crore project are:
Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-II plans to extend the Harbour Line up to Goregaon. The work is expected to be completed by March 2014. Under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III, the Harbour Line will be further extended up to Borivali.
The suburban trains consists of 9 and 12 coaches. To alleviate the problems of overcrowding, the 9 coach trains are being phased out replacing them with 12 coaches. 15 coach trains were introduced in 2010 however, these are few in number. Broadly the train contains the general compartments, ladies compartments, general first class and ladies first class. Men are not allowed to travel in the ladies compartment. The first class is more expensive, and thereby tends to be less crowded. The first class should not be boarded without a valid ticket, since the penalty is high if caught.
Each train contains special coaches to cater to different needs. These are normally referred to as 'Compartments'
Locating the position of compartments can be difficult for newbies and tourists. You can ask the seasoned passengers or always approach the vendors on the food stalls on the platform.
Tickets for the suburban trains can be purchased at every train station. Travelling without a valid ticket is an offence and if caught can result into penalty. The penalty is steeper for passengers travelling in first class without a valid ticket.
Tickets can be bought for single journey (one way) or a return journey. A return ticket is valid till the next day on weekdays and till Monday if purchased on a Friday. The ticket counters usually have long queues.
To save time, a Coupon Booklet can be purchased and the coupons can be punched for the designated fare at the Coupon Validating Machines(CVMs) at every station. The ticket fares matrix is pasted above the CVM. There are also Smart Cards available that can be topped up (recharged with some amount) and one can use it to print tickets for themselves from an Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVMs). A Season Ticket can be purchased if one is commuting regularly. One can choose the validity of these tickets from 1 month, 3 months to a year. Season Tickets are the most cost effective and time efficient option for regular commuters.
CVMs will be phased out from Central and Western railway stations in March 2013 in order to popularize ATVMs. The move was prompted by fears that fraudulent coupons can be pushed into circulation as the CVM network is not linked to the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) operated unreserved ticketing system that accounts for all the transactions done through booking windows and ATVMs.
Tourists can avail the option of 'Tourist ticket'. With it, one can travel in First Class compartments of all the three suburban lines (Western, Central and Harbour) for a unlimited journeys for an entire day.
|Distance (km)||Fare (I-class)||Fare (II-class)|
|up to 10||40 (US$0.8)||4 (US$0.08)|
|11 - 25||70 (US$1.4)||7 (US$0.14)|
|26 - 50||110 (US$2.19)||11 (US$0.22)|
|51 - 75||150 (US$2.99)||15 (US$0.3)|
Mobile-based local train timetables with comprehensive route and search features are available. MUMBAI LOCAL TRAIN TIMETABLE
A bulk of the current fleet of both the Western and Central railways features old rakes which are capable of a maximum speed of 85 km/h in regular service. Most of these rakes are built by Jessop (Kolkata) and ICF (Perambur). The recently introduced AC/DC rakes (more modern motors in the existing carriage designs) are capable of 100 km/h under low traffic conditions. The actual average speed of the rakes on the slow lines is about 35 km/h, while rakes on fast lines average about 45–50 km/h on a typical run.
On November 12, 2007, 1st rake of 129 new 12-coach rakes with upgraded facilities was inducted into the fleet of the Western Railways under the MUTP project. The coaches are built of stainless steel, and have non-cushioned seats, emergency fluorescent lights, bigger windows with polycarbonate lookout glass, better suspension systems and a novel roof mounted forced ventilation system, station indicators in all coaches, GPS based Public information system in all coaches.The new rakes are much more cool and airy, than the old EMU. The engine of the new rakes also makes less amount of noise than the older ones. This is a great advantage for the people living near the railway,as the old rakes made much more noise. Since,2010 the front of the EMUs are painted yellow, so that the maintenance workers on the tracks can see the train from far distances and act accordingly. These rakes have been procured under the project at a total cost of Rs 1,900 crore (Rs 19 billion) (USD 431.0 million).
A nine-car train has a seating capacity of 876 and 1,752 standees — a total of 2,628. A 12-car train can seat 1,168 and accommodate 2,336 standees that is a total of 3,504 passengers and a 33% rise in carrying capacity compared to a nine-car train.
In 2007, the railways had planned to run air conditioned trains as a pilot between Churchgate and Borivli on a public-private partnership, but scrapped it following opposition. In the 2008 rail budget, the then railway minister Lalu Prasad had stated the possibility of introducing AC suburban trains for the city in the 11th Five Year plan by 2012. In the 2012 Rail Budget, railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, stated that "work had begun in right earnest" to provide passengers with AC local trains. He estimated a capital cost of 9 crore for a 12-coach AC local train. Though the cost of actually designing and running the AC EMU will be more than 27 crore (the cost of a regular rake)Trivedi announced a token contribution of 1 lakh in his budget.
The Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) in Lucknow is currently working on the design for AC trains for Mumbai. The Western Railway had also internally prepared one such coach at its Mahalaxmi workshop and taken trials a few years ago. The plan for Mumbai had been earlier rejected as air-conditioned trains required closed doors, which was not possible in the dense crush load that the city’s trains ferry. One of the ideas proposed comprised air-curtains to separate the cold air from the warm, but that too did not click. An air-curtain is a ventilation device used for separating two spaces from each other, a downward-facing fan with a powerful jet to help keep outside air out.
As local trains could not be fitted with air-conditioners, it was then decided to install forced ventilation blowers in trains. The “forced ventilation’’ technique was to aid in decrease of carbon dioxide levels in packed trains.
The proposed CST-Panvel fast corridor is likely to have the distinction of becoming the first route to run fully air-conditioned trains.
Currently there are no AC rakes in the Mumbai Suburban Railway. However, all coaches are fitted with fans.
To enable the Mumbai Suburban Railway to meet the demands of the ever-growing passenger traffic, the federal Government of India's Ministry of Railways and the state Government of Maharashtra have jointly envisioned the constitution of a separate corporate entity to operate the system.
The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd (MRVC), a public sector unit of the Government of India under the Ministry of Railways, was incorporated under the (Indian) Companies Act, 1956 on July 12, 1999, with an equity capital of 25 crore (US$5 million) to implement the rail component of an integrated rail-cum-road urban transport project, called Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP). The cost of the rail component of the project is to be shared equally by Ministry of Railways and Government of Maharashtra.
The Indian Railways plans to build a 700 MW gas-based plant in Thakurli. Once functional, the plant will provide all the necessary power to run suburban trains on the Mumbai Suburban Railway, and the additional power in the grid can be given to other sources. The Thakurli power plant will be set up with the help of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). It will lie on an 85acre plot next to Thakurli railway station.
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Due to its extensive reach across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, and its intensive use by the local urban population, the Mumbai Suburban Railway suffers from some of the most severe overcrowding in the world. Over 4,500 passengers are packed into a 9-car rake during peak hours, as against the rated carrying capacity of 1,700. This has resulted in what is known as Super-Dense Crush Load of 14 to 16 standing passengers per square metre of floor space. Trains on the suburban line are on average more than 4 minutes apart, contributing to the problem of overcrowding. The impending introduction of new higher speed rakes may help address the issue.
It has been advised for safety concerns for tourists to avoid the trains during weekdays, or at least during the morning and evening peak hours. Avoid travelling from north to south between 8 am and 11 am and from south to north between 6 pm and 9 pm. The best way to enjoy the trains is on Sundays when they are relatively empty. However, watch out for Sundays when work is done on the tracks, as it could mean that trains are still crowded on a Sunday. During the work day, beware of getting on the express trains or 'fast trains' as they are called denoted on stations by 'F', especially the trains to Virar.
On an average, 3,700 people die annually on the Mumbai Suburban Rail network. A query filed by Chetan Kothari under the Right to Information (RTI) has revealed that over the past 10 years (2002-2012), more than 36,152 lives have been lost on tracks and 36,688 people have been injured. This is believed to be the highest number of fatalities per year on any urban or suburban railway system. Most of the deaths are of passengers crossing the tracks on foot, instead of using the footbridges provided for going from one platform to another, and are hit by passing trains. Some passengers die when they sit on train roofs to avoid the crowds and are electrocuted by the overhead electric wires, or hang from doors and window bars. These figures are from past, however the rate has declined recently. To reduce the risk of such fatalities, automatic doors will be installed on all rakes by 2016 along with longer platforms and more frequent trains.
According to The Times of UK, Mumbai's local railway network was one of the deadliest in the world: a record 17 people died every weekday on the city's suburban railway network in 2008. However, recently Central Railways has resorted to some innovative methods to manage trespassing. Central Railways, in association with Final Mile, a behaviour architecture firm deployed neuroscience based interventions at the Wadala station. For the last year or so, the death rates have reduced by about 75%. Boston Globe carried a news item on this. Times of India carried a news item regarding the success of this experiment
The next biggest cause of death was of passengers who fell (or were pushed) from carriages that travel at 64 km/h (40 mph), are often dangerously full. People have also perished after being bludgeoned by trackside poles while hanging out of overcrowded trains or electrocuted by power cables when they sit on the roof.
Western Railway has pledged that its trains will stop running if "even a single person" is seen travelling on the roof. “We know that halting a train during peak hours will result in a lot of chaos. However, we cannot let people travel this way as they will surely lose their lives,” a railway spokesman told The Times of India.
The Mumbai Suburban Railway has suffered 8 blasts and around 368 people are believed to have died as a result.
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