Yesterday, Central Railway successfully commissioned a new platform on Parel station. A big win for commuters who frequent Parel and Elphinstone stations and a step ahead on the way to make the Parel terminus a reality, the new platform is a much-needed infrastructure on the line.
The first train to pass by the platform was the 6:29 Kalyan local, ending the eight-hour block that was taken to ensure the platform would function by the end of the day, despite the incessant rains.
Thanking the commuters for their patience, Sunil Udasi, Chief Public Relations Officer, CR, said in a statement, “Such blocks are essential for infrastructure upgrade and commuter convenience.” A new platform has been added to the suburban network of Mumbai, a part of the continuous process of the commitment of Central Railway to provide the best possible to Mumbaikars, he added.
Overhead wires were inspected, track lengths were checked and metal decks were welded together yesterday at Parel station underneath umbrellas, despite the incessant rains, stopping only for a few minutes here and there. By evening, a few workers who were sitting on the platform took leave for the day, making space for commuters to stand and await the next (read: first) local to stop by.
Minutes before the first local was to arrive, the mood at the new platform was that of nervousness and excitement, especially among the railway officials who had worked tirelessly for months to ensure this day would soon.
“We should break coconuts to celebrate,” one of them had exclaimed after getting the call about the local's approximate arrival time. It was soon followed by the announcements, “The 6:29 Kalyan local will arrive at the new platform.”
To those in attendance since the last few hours, it was nothing short of magic. As the sun was progressing towards setting for the day, final touches to the three metal decks were in full swing. These decks are laid across the old down track (from where one would earlier take a Kalyan bound train) and will stay put until the work on the overhead bridge connecting Parel and Elphinstone stations is completed by Western Railway. “The work on the bridge connecting the two stations is expected to complete by June end.” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer, WR.
A few hiccups did come along the way as the platform was first supposed to be commissioned on June 10. However, due to heavy rainfall, it had to be delayed. Now that the platform has come alive, one could expect the traffic to decongest on the central and western line and lives of commuters crossing the bridge between these stations to become slightly easier.