To improve travel time, Western Railway has begun upgrading tracks on the Mumbai-Delhi and Mumbai-Ahmedabad routes, which will increase the number of long-distance passenger train services on these routes in the long run.
Currently, work is being done to increase track capacity to handle a speed of 160 kilometres per hour (kmph) by renewing certain sections of track and, as needed, strengthening entry points of rail-over-bridges, rebuilding bridges, and fencing along these routes.
Railway officials said these measures will ensure a 60% increase in the average speed of passenger trains and a doubling of the average speed of freight traffic.
“Rebuilding bridges at the Virar to Surat section is under progress now. As part of this project, we have completed work to build a well-lit weather-covered shed at Mumbai Central coaching depot,” said Sumit Thakur, chief public relations officer, of Western Railway. “As trains move at high speed along these routes we need to modify the tracks at certain points, overhead equipment needs to be modified, curves need to be realigned and bridges require to be strengthened to be able to sustain the speed of the train.”
On the Mumbai-Delhi route, almost 50% of the stretch from Mumbai Central to Nagda in Madhya Pradesh – falls under the jurisdiction of the Western Railway. At present, tracks at some sections along routes such as Virar-Godhra, Ratlam-Nagda in Madhya Pradesh can handle a capacity of 130kmph. Similarly, trains operating from Vadodara to Ahmedabad on the Mumbai- Ahmedabad route also run at 130kmph. Tracks on the above stretches are being upgraded to 160kmph.
“There are many passenger trains that run on the Delhi to Mumbai section regularly. Increasing the capacity of the tracks will also help many trains, which are currently operating at a lower speed than their actual capacity, to function better. Upgrading of tracks will not only allow trains like Rajdhani to reach destinations at a quicker pace but will also help provide additional services in the long run,” said a senior officer from Western Railway.
To date, 251.86 crore has been spent on this project, which will take two years to complete. The amount sanctioned to Western Railway for this project is 3209.41 crore. A railway official said, “The Delhi-Mumbai sector also covers Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. So, passengers of seven states in total stand to gain from this initiative to upgrade tracks.”