Commuters traveling between Mumbai and Ahmedabad can soon rejoice! The Western Railway (WR) is in the final stages of completing infrastructure and engineering upgrades that will allow trains to operate at speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour, significantly reducing travel time.
Currently, trains take between 6-8 hours to cover the distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. However, once the upgrades are complete in March 2024, travel time is expected to drop by a remarkable two hours. This translates to faster journeys and improved connectivity between the two major cities.
The WR is undertaking a massive project worth Rs 3,950 crore across two corridors: Mumbai to Nagda and Vadodara to Ahmedabad. As of now, 13 out of 15 critical projects on the Virar-Surat stretch have been completed.
These projects involve strengthening the rail infrastructure and improving track quality, including:
- Repairing sleepers
- Lifting and rehabilitating foot and road overbridges
- Cushioning tracks with additional ballasts
- Enhancing rail track quality
The remaining work is focused on the Surat-Vadodara and Vadodara-Ahmedabad sections, aiming for completion by December 2023. Subsequently, the project will undergo inspections and approvals from the Commissioner of Railway Safety before implementation.
Previously, long-distance trains were restricted to speeds of 110 kmph on the Borivali-Virar line and 100 kmph on the Mumbai Central-Virar stretch due to the extensive suburban train network. However, with the upgrades, the permissible speed limit will increase to 160 kmph on the entire Virar-Ahmedabad segment.
Furthermore, to ensure safety at higher speeds, the WR has implemented several measures, including:
- Constructing pre-stressed concrete walls along 75 kilometers of the track
- Installing metal beam fencing over 557 kilometers, a first-of-its-kind initiative for Indian Railways
Reaching speeds of 160 kmph requires specialized trains equipped with Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches. The WR is still finalizing specific train allocations and preparing a revised timetable for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. Initially, the benefit of reduced travel time will likely be enjoyed by faster trains like Vande Bharat, Shatabdi, and Rajdhani.
This infrastructure upgrade is part of a larger initiative to improve train speeds across the country. The 1,479-kilometre Mumbai-Delhi line is also being equipped for 160 kmph operations, with work underway by the West Central Railway, North Central Railway, and Northern Railway zones. This project, with a total cost of Rs 8,095 crore, promises to significantly enhance rail connectivity and travel efficiency throughout India.
The upcoming improvements on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route mark a significant step forward in Indian Railways’ journey towards modernization and faster travel experiences. Passengers can look forward to a quicker and more convenient commute between the two cities starting March 2024. This project also sets the stage for further advancements in railway infrastructure and technology across the nation.
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