|Locale||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
Palghar district, Maharashtra, India
|System||Mumbai Suburban Railway|
|Services||((Collapsible list| Churchgate – Dahanu Road |
Churchgate – Virar
Churchgate – Vasai Road
Churchgate – Bhayander
Churchgate – Borivali
Churchgate – Malad
Churchgate – Goregaon
Churchgate – Andheri
Churchgate – Bandra
Churchgate – Nallasopara
|Operator(s)||Western Railway zone|
|Daily ridership||3.519 million (2016-17)|
|Ridership||1.28 billion (annual; 2016-17)|
|Opened||12 April 1867|
|Line length||123.78 km (76.91 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||25,000 V AC through overhead catenary|
The Western line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway is a public transit system serving Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Maharashtra. It consists of 37 stations from Dahanu Road to Churchgate railway station. It is operated by Western Railways (WR). The entire line is at grade.
Trains are differentiated as slow and fast locals. Slow trains stop at all stations, while fast ones stop at important stations only and are preferable over longer distances. Trains usually start from and terminate at important stations. The section from Churchgate to Virar is a Quadruple track. An EMU car shed has been built between Nala Sopara and Virar which is the largest car shed in Asia. A repair shop for EMUs is situated at Mahalaxmi. There are also EMU car sheds at Mumbai Central and Kandivali.
Suburban service on what is now the Western line was offered by the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway, which began running steam trains in 1867. Rakes operating on DC electricity were introduced on 5 January 1928. Leslie Wilson (politician), the then-Governor of Bombay inaugurated the line running between Colaba and Borivali at Mahalaxmi, in the presence of 700 invitees.
The proposal to ply Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains between Dahanu and Churchgate was approved in the 2012–13 Railway Budget. In March 2013, 18 MEMU services ran between Virar and Dahanu daily.
On 16 April 2013, the 160th anniversary of the Indian Railways, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated the first EMU service between Churchgate and Dahanu Road. The first Churchgate-Dahanu local was flagged off around 10:47am and arrived at Churchgate at 1:44pm. Prior to the launch of this service, EMU services on WR only ran on the 60 km stretch between Churchgate and Virar.
The Western Line transported 127.94 crore passengers (1.28 billion) in the 2016-17 fiscal year. This is higher than the population of India according to the 2011 Census, which was recorded as 121.01 crores. During the same period, Western Railway sold 270.3 million tickets and 13.7 million season passes, earning a total revenue of ₹818.48 crore (US$100 million) from its suburban rail operations.
(Names in bold indicate that the station is a fast train stop.)
|#||Station Name||Station Code||Connections|
|1||Churchgate||C/CCG||Metro Line 3|
|4||Grant Road‡||GTR||Metro Line 3|
|5||Mumbai Central||MC/MCL||Indian Railways and Metro Line 3|
|6||Mahalaxmi||MX||Metro Line 3 and Monorail Line 1|
|9||Dadar||D/DDR||Indian Railways and Central line|
|11||Mahim Junction||MM||Harbour line|
|12||Bandra||B/BA||Harbour line and Metro Line 2|
|13||Khar Road||KHAR||Harbour line|
|15||Vile Parle||VLP||Harbour line|
|16||Andheri||AD/ADH||Indian Railways, Harbour line and Metro Line 1|
|17||Jogeshwari||JOS||Harbour line and Metro Line 6|
|18||Ram Mandir||RMAR||Harbour line|
|27||Vasai Road||BS/BSR||Indian Railways and Central line|
‡ indicates the stations which Fast Up trains (to Churchgate) skip from around 5PM to 8PM.
†A footbridge links Prabhadevi to Parel on the Central line.
Churchgate railway station is the terminus station at the south end of Mumbai city. In Mumbai, Western Line (WR) suburban trains use this station as terminus. Long distance trains and goods trains terminate at Mumbai Central railway station instead.
Above list of stations is mentioned from south end going towards northern suburban areas falling on WR corridor.
Western Railway's EMU fleet consists of EMUs running on AC 25 kV power. WR uses seven 9-car rakes.
The Western line began running electric trains with DC power on 5 January 1928.
On 5 February 2012, WR finished converting the entire Western line from the earlier used 1,500 V DC to 25 kV AC power. The entire power conversion project cost about ₹500 crore. Since 25 kV AC power is 17 times stronger than DC, people riding on top of the trains will be killed if they come into contact with the overhead wires.
The project was also expected to improve the punctuality of train services, make them energy-efficient and allow a greater number of 12-coach and 15-coach trains to ply. Post-conversion, local trains will be able to achieve speeds of 100 km/h with ease. The next step would be to convert the remaining 9-coach trains to 12-coach ones, thus augmenting the carrying capacity by 33%. The system will need less maintenance.
While using DC traction, 22 substations provided power to suburban trains on the Western line. Since switching over to AC traction, substations at Mahalaxmi, Bandra, Jogeshwari, Borivli and Vasai supply 25 kV power to local trains.
As of 27 March 2012, the Western line has approximately 1,290 local services running which carry about 3.55 million commuters every day. These 1290 local services are operated using 80 trains. Western Railways' EMUs are in 12 car and 15 car formations.
The first 9-car service on the Western line ran on 2 March 1961. The 9-car service has since been phased out and the last service ran on the Western line on 20 November 2012. However, 10 services (six on CR and four on WR) were still operated as 9-car even after that date as the track is shared by the Western line and the Harbour line. Harbour line platforms are too short to accommodate longer trains.
In 2010, 15 car services between Churchgate and Virar were introduced. They halt at all the stations between Borivli and Virar, and do not halt at any stations between Churchgate and Dadar. 15-coach trains are used in non-peak hours. They cannot be used in peak hours because the station platforms are too narrow to handle the increased foot traffic.
|No. of coaches||No. of Services|
The following table shows the number of services and daily ridership on the Western line throughout its history.
|Year||No. of Services||Daily Ridership|
|16 April 2013||1305||3.6 million|
WR has escalators at 26 stations including some main stations like Borivali, Andheri, Dadar, Vasai Road and Virar for the common people. This helps the physically challenged and senior citizens.
As of 29 April 2013, there are 102 foot over bridges (FOB) and 8 subways on the Western line.
The Train Management System (TMS) is used by both staff and passengers to monitor the location of trains. TMS enables commuters to know what trains will be arriving in the next 10 minutes. The system was implemented on the Western line in 2004.
Free Wi-Fi facility from the Indian Railways (RailWire) is provided at some stations of the Western Line like Churchgate, Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Khar Road, Andheri, Borivali, Bhayander, Vasai Road and Virar.
In 2011, 1,313 commuters died in accidents on the Western line, mainly via trespassing on ten particular stretches of track. Since mid-February 2012, Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel patrol the areas from 7am-11am and 5pm-10pm, the peak times for such incidents. Initially, they used posters in an education campaign and only cautioned offenders. They later escalated to arresting people.