In a bid to reduce overcrowding on local trains in Mumbai, the Western Railway has decided to run additional 194 special services, including 10 AC trains, from October 15, an official release said on Tuesday.
With this, the total number of special services on Western Railway being operated only for emergency services staff notified by the Maharashtra government will increase to 700 from the current 506.
“In order to maintain social distancing and to avoid overcrowding, Western Railway has taken the decision to increase the number of daily special suburban services from 506 to 700 with effect from Thursday,” the release said.
While eight of the 10 AC local services will be operated between Churchgate-Virar on a fast corridor, one service each will run between Mahalaxmi-Borivali and Borivali-Churchgate stations. “Out of the increased 194 new services, 49 services will be operated during morning peak hours and 49 services during evening peak hours for the convenience of commuters,” said Sumit Thakur, chief public relations officer,Western Railway.
The Central Railway is currently operating 453 special suburban services on its network. Since services on Mumbai suburban network resumed partially on June 15, railway authorities have been gradually increasing their frequency.
Before the lockdown, there were 1367 local train trips on the Western Railway route. 431 local trains are currently running on the Central Railway route while 1700 trips were made on the Central Railway route before the lockdown.
Recently, the Bombay High Court had directed the Central and state Government to increase the local train service on both routes up to 700-700 rounds. Although local trains are currently being run in Mumbai only for people connected with urgent service and common people are not allowed to travel, but to maintain social distancing, the court had asked to increase the frequency of local trains.