A busy commuter corridor in Central Railway's Mumbai Division
The ever-busy and lively suburban system of Central Railway in Mumbai is made of three important corridors viz, Mumbai CST - Karjat/Khopoli, Kalyan - Kasara and Mumbai CST - Panvel/Andheri Harbour line. Suburban railway services began on the Harbour line in 1925. Though services were started only in 1925, the construction of the line dates back to 1906 when a single line was opened between Kurla and Chembur for Garbage Trains. The Kurla-Reay road section was opened in 1909, and the Ravli-Mahim section was opened in 1914. The Kurla-Chembur line was opened for passenger traffic in 1924. Finally, the Mumbai VT to Kurla and Bandra sections were designated as Suburban sections, and services were run by Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR) using 1500V DC EMU stock. The electrification of the Kurla-Mankhurd line was completed in 1950, and the section was opened for Suburban services (steam traction) in 1951. The suburban services in the Kurla-Mankhurd section shifted to electric traction in 1952. The services on the harbour line was extended to Vashi (in Navi Mumbai) in 1992. The service was further extended to Belapur in 1993. The line is further extended to Khandeshwar (Panvel) in 1995. The Belapur-Panvel suburban line was doubled and opened to passenger traffic in 2002.
Some common facts:
The trains services on this section are run using 9-Car EMUs. The trains on 1500V DC-Overhead traction supply. The rakes required for the service are run mainly by Sanpada Car Shed (in Navi Mumbai). Occasionaly some services are run by the Kurla Car Shed as well. The main terminuses of services on this line are Mumbai CST, Bandra, Andheri, Chembur, Mankhurd, Vashi, Belapur, Panvel and Thane. All services in the harbour Corridor stop at all stations on the route. The entire harbour section runs on Automatic Signalling, and hence train services are quite efficient. The service is prone to disruptions due to water-logging at areas like Wadala and Kurla. Services are fairly punctual otherwise.
Mumbai CST - Panvel Harbour Section (Corridor-I)
This section is a part of the original harbour corridor opened for service in 1925. Services were initially run between Mumbai CST (earlier known as Victoria Terminus) and Kurla. The service was extended to Panvel (the present terminus) in 1995. [See history above]. There are about 24 stations in this section, and ALL trains stop at ALL stations. This line shares Mumbai CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus), Masjid and Kurla stations with the Main line. There are about 143 services in the down direction (Mumbai CST - Panvel) and about 147 services in the UP direction. Kurla is a major point of trans-shipment, and there are many passengers who use the harbour branch upto Kurla, and then change over to the main line to reach their destinations on the Main line or the Western Railway.
Mumbai CST- Vadala Road - Andheri (Corridor - II)
This corridor shares the route between Mumbai CST and Vadala Road with the Panvel corridor. Both the routes bifurcate just before Vadala Road Station. The line towards Andheri take a Sharp left curve and proceeds towards Mahim. The section from Vadala Road to Mahim (Outer) is under Central Railway, while the section ahead of Mahim is managed by the Western Railway. There are about 92 services each in either directions. This includes 3 pairs of services between Belapur and Andheri, and 1 single service from Mumbai CST to Borivali. The harbour line technically terminates at Andheri (There are plans to extend them to Goregaon). Majority of the services terminate at Bandra. The railway line take a grand fly-over after Bandra station, and crosses over to the leftern most end of the quadrupled Western Corridor. All the stations on the Mahim-Andheri section are shared with the Western Railway main line.
Thane-Turbhe-Vashi/Nerul (Corridor - III)
This section was opened for passenger traffic on 19th November 2005. Currently there are about 29 pairs of services each way between Thane and Vashi. There are about 7 stations in the section including both the terminii. Rabale station (between Ghansoli and Airoli) was commissioned on June 21, 2007 by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri. Vilasrao Deshmukh. The Turbhe-Nerul section of the corridor is under construction, and is expected to be completed in a year or two.