Mumbai Suburban System

Mumbai, which lies on the western coast of India, is one of the world's largest and most crowded cities. It is also considered the commercial capital of India. Every day about 5.5 million commuters travel on the Mumbai suburban system, which is almost 50 per cent of the trips made by passengers on the entire railway system in India. During the peak hours almost 4500 passengers travel in one train as against the design capacity of 2700 passengers thereby creating an alarming situation.

At present, commuter traffic in Mumbai and its suburbs is served by the following five suburban railway corridors of Western and Central Railways.

Western railways

(a) A pair of lines from Borivli to Churchgate, designated local lines.

(b) A pair of lines between Virar and Churchgate, designated through lines.

Central railways

(a) A pair of lines between Mumbai VT and Kalyan, designated local lines.

(b) A pair of lines between Mumbai VT and Kalyan, designated through lines (suburban sections extend up to Kasara on the North-East ghat section and up to Karjat on the South-East ghat section).

(c) A pair of lines, known as the harbour branch, between Mumbai VT and Chembur, with a chord line extending from Raoli Junction to Bandra and a single line extending from Chembur to Mankhurd.

The salient features of the Mumbai suburban railway are presented in Table 29.4.

Table 29.4 Salient features of Mumbai suburban railway system


Central Railway

Western Railway


Main line

Chhatrapati Shivaji

Churchgate to Borivli, 34 km

Terminus to Kasara, 121 km (slow corridor)

(slow corridor)

Chhatrapati Shivaji, 54 km

Churchgate to Virar, 60 km (fast

(fast corridor) and up to Karjat, 46 km (slow corridor)

Harbour line (46 km) Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to Wadala (9 km) Wadala to Andheri (12.3 km) Wadala to Khandeshwar (37 km)





(contd )

Table 29.4 (contd)


Central Railway

Western Railway


Automatic block signalling up to Titwala/Badlapur Belapur and absolute block signalling system beyond Titwala

Automatic block signalling

Power supply

1500-V dc

1500-V dc

No. of trains

1090 trains

901 trains



5 min on slow corridor and

3 min between Churchgate and

harbour line, 4 min on fast

Andheri and 4 min beyond



No. of rakes



No. of

2.9 million (approx.)

2.6 million (approx.)


travelling daily

A metro rail system is being planned for Mumbai as well. The DMRC has submitted detailed project reports for three corridors to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority. The first corridor stretches from Versova to Ghatkopar (12 km) and has been approved by the Government of Maharashtra. The second corridor stretches from Colaba to Charkop via Bandra, is 36 km long, and 10 km of the route from Colaba to Mahalaxmi will be underground. The third corridor extends from Bandra to Mankhurd via Kurla and is 13 km long. Both the first and third corridors will be constructed on elevated ground.

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