A proposal has been floated to establish two new outstation platforms at the Vasai Road railway yard in Mumbai, in order to boost connectivity to Southern India. The Western Railway is contemplating the bid which has been tabled in view of the demands of the people residing in this region. Decongesting the load of the partially saturated platforms at Bandra and Mumbai Central Terminus, the new platforms will also be a convenient option for passengers heading towards Hyderabad and other such destinations from the Northern suburbs in Mumbai.
New platforms at Vasai Road station: Convenient or cumbersome?
Senior officials of the Western Railways have surveyed the land identified for the project. In addition to this proposed land, the land which is currently used for the transportation of freight materials will also be granted to the WR for the new platforms, after the construction of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) in 2022. Besides, connectivity along the East-West corridor at the Vasai Road station will also be provided by WR, read reports.
The decision to establish the new platforms has received a contrasting feedback. Regular travellers have welcomed the move stating that it will be convenient for them to board a train to South India from here instead of from Dadar or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, which are far off. On the other hand, some people have stated that running operations from Vasai Road will be a difficult task. The railways will have to link the trains from these platforms via Vasai-Diva-Panvel which will be very cumbersome. Instead, an established terminus will be able to the task better, the opinions highlighted.
Initially, the Western Railways too, had proposed to construct a terminus at Vasai Road in 2013, which failed at execution. In 2017, the same project was pushed again, however, to no avail. By 2018, WR announced to set up a terminal here and the proposition included the construction of 4 platforms, 3 stabling lines for outstation trains and a new terminal building by 2023.
Boosting Mumbai's suburban 'local' train system network
The project also pipelines to connect these platforms to Mumbai's suburban local train system to operate services between Vasai and Panvel. The project, however, needs to be approved for the Indian Railways and may be tabled for the Railway Ministry later this year, following approvals from the Western Railways.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has also undertaken the task of operating local trains between Vasai and Panvel railway stations. Under this project, about 11 new railway stations have been proposed between the two stations. Further, the changes like, raising the height of AC trains and changing the present signalling equipment have also been listed among other proposals.