New local train services in Mumbai post Railway Budget 2010

Mamata Banerjee's Railway Budget 2010-2011 has quite some promises for Mumbai. And yes, she did speak about 101 new local train / suburban services! When the services will start is not known, but considering that many new services have been introduced in the central and trans-harbour lines quite speedily in the recent past, I am being optimistic about quick action.

The new trains to be introduced across various routes in Mumbai are as follows:
6 trains on central railway main line 
18 trains on harbour line
32 trains between Thane/Kalyan and Kasara/Karjat/Khopoli
35 trains on  Trans-Harbour line (Vashi-Thane route)

2 Ladies’ specials trains on Vashi-Thane and Panvel-Nerul-Thane routes

Mamata Banerjee's sense of humour during Railway Budget 2010 Speech

Listening to Rail Budget is not just important but is fun too! So if you had enjoyed Lalu Prasad Yadav's speech all these years, Mamata Banerjee won't disappoint you either. Here are some examples of her humour during 2010 Railway Budget speech:

"Rajdhani jaise bol rahi hoon na!" - When she was reading in speed
"If you don't listen na, I'll cut"- When there was lot of interruption and noise
"Unka naam kya hai... chillate bahut hain"- getting irritated at someone interrupting a lot
"Chup chaap baithega toh pura padhega,nahi tph nahi padhega"- responding to noise
"Isko naam deta hian kormo bhumi, first is matribhumi"
"Chapra kaha hain - Chapra?" Mamata attacking Lalu Prasad Yadav
"1 minute chillao, chillao"         
"Dekho bhai mereko pronouncation khrap ho jayga to aste aste bolli, chellao na, aree baba!"
"Mumbai mein 100 train diya to kuch kahe nehi bola, why why why bengal ke liye chillata hai"
"Kaam kiya hai iske liye lamba likh diya hai" - on the long list
"Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle, khuda bande se ye pooche bata teri razaa kya hai" - quoting at the end of the Railway Budget 2010 speech
I thank Samiran Ghosh for helping me cover it all!

Mamata Banerjee's Railway Budget 2010 Speech Live Updates - Text

Mamata Banerjee started the speech by saying she had 2 considerations in mind: Viability of projects and social responsibility.

Mamata Banerjee announced Mission 2020 of short term and long term goals.

Here are the highlights, announcements and proposals of Mamata Banerjee's Railway Budget 2010 speech:
  • No hike in passenger fare
  • Free travel for cancer patients in Third AC and sleeper class; 75 percent concession for companion
  • A special task force to be set up to clear investment proposals within 100 days.
  • Railway exams to be conducted in Hindi, English and Urdu languages
  • Considering that bottled water turns out to be expensive for the passengers, Mamata Banerjee proposed 6 bottling plants that would help provide clean and fresh water at much cheaper rates. Plant locations - Ambala, Thiruvananthapuram, Farakka, Amethi and Nasik
  • No privatization of railways
  • Rs 1300 Crores to be allocated for amenities for passengers
  • Improvement of security of women passengers
  • 5 sports academies to be set up
  • RFID technology for freight transport
  • Launching of Double Decker trains (pilot launch)
  • Ex-servicemen to be inducted to RPF (Mamata announced this after quoting Lata Mangeshkar's song  Zara yaad karo qurbaani)
  • Insurance facility for licensed porters
  • Women's RPF wing to be formed 
  • Railways to set up Rabindra Museum in Howrah, Geetanjali Museum in Bolpur  
  • Bharat Tirth train to mark Rabindranath Tagore's 150th birth anniversary
  • Special train during Commonwealth Games
  • 101 new suburban trains in Mumbai
  • New suburban trains in Chennai
  • New train service to Bangladesh
  • No increase in freight tarriff 
  • High-speed dedicated passenger corridors
  • Freight reduction on foodgrains and kerosene
  • Houses for railway employees of 10 years
  • 10 new Duronto trains  
  • 54 new trains in 2010
  • New tourist trains on tourist routes
  • 80000 new wagons
  • New Janmabhoomi train between Ahmedabad and Udhampur
  • New Karmabhoomi train for working class
  • Matribhoomi special trains for women
  • Service charge on AC fares to be Rs 20 instead of Rs 40
  • Mobile e-ticketing facility at hospitals, courts, universities, IITs, IIMs
  • Design, Development and Testing centre to be set up at Bangalore
  • Railway research centre at IIT Kharagpur
  • 13000 unmanned level crossings to be converted to manned level crossings

Mid-Day lists Mamata's unkept promises

I came across a Mid-Day report of the promises Mamata Banerjee made in the Rail Budget 2009 - Mamata Banerjee's unkept list of promises. Ha! I doubt if we'll take promises made by her today seriously. Who knows, when the Rail Budget 2011 will be presented next year, false promises of 2010 will add to the list of those in 2009!

A look at the highlights of Railway Budget 2009

Before we start listening to Mamata Banerjee's Railway Budget 2010 speech, I suggest you take a look at what she 'promised' in the previous Rail Budget.

Why? Coz you'd get an idea about how seriously you can take the promises she will make in the 2010 Rail Budget.

Mamata Banerjee's Railway Budget 2010 Speech - Date and Time

Mamata Banerjee's Railway Budget 2010 Speech will start on 24th February at 12 pm. The Railway Budget speech will be telecast live across various television channels including DD News, CNBC Awaaz, Lok Sabha TV, NDTV Profit, NDTV 24x7 and Times Now.

What do you expect from Railway Budget 2010?

Mamata Banerjee will present the Railway Budget 2010 today, on 24th February 2010. Rumours are that there might not be increase in passenger fares but the freight charges might go up. Also, with her focus on West Bengal elections, she might be biased towards her state.

One interesting thing is that across the TV channels and newspapers, when people were asked what are they expecting from the budget, they hoped that Mamata Banerjee did not INCREASE the fares. I hope the same. But did you notice one thing? No one requested her to DECREASE the fares, bringing to light the fact that people believe (me too) that the fares are just perfect and they do not wish to pressurize the Railway Minister with unnecessary demands. Now that people are not causing inconvenience to Mamata Banerjee, she too must add to their comfort! She claims that the budget is prepared in the best interest of the common man. Let's see!

 What do I expect from the Rail Budget?
  • Much better security 
  • Better frequency of some trains
  • Ideal railway stations will all basic amenities including most definitely super clean toilets
  • Strict measures to ensure that people do not cross tracks
  • Training to railway personnel to be polite to commuters specially senior citizens (click to read an incident)
Do drop in your comments about what you expect from the Rail Budget.

    Teenager Sagar Dogle lost life over a Mumbai local train seat issue

    My condolences to the family of 18-year old Sagar Dogle who lost his life after being thrown off from a moving local train on 20th February. And why? Because someone wanted to occupy his seat in the train!

    Just yesterday I had written about the condition of commuters in Mumbai local trains:
    "During peak hours we travel in Mumbai local trains as if we were in hell. Standing and balancing ourselves in overcrowded trains sometimes on one foot is not a joke. All we focus on is ensuring that we don't fall off the train."

    Little did I know that today I'll read a report of a young guy losing his life just because someone wanted to travel comfortably!

    WR prepares for future flash strikes by motormen

    Flash strikes seem to have become the 'in' thing with the motormen. I don't say that their demands are unreasonable. The motormen work with great responsibility on their shoulders and they deserve the best. However, protesting at the cost of commuters' convenience is something very uncalled for. C'mon, during peak hours we travel in Mumbai local trains as if we were in hell. Standing and balancing ourselves in overcrowded trains sometimes on one foot is not a joke.
    All we focus on is ensuring that we don't fall off the train.
    Flash strikes leave us in a place worse than hell. I'm glad that WR is taking steps to prevent us from being struck by strikes.

    Panvel-Thane train is a bliss! But know the tips

    Every time I had to travel by train from Seawoods to Koparkhairane, I had to go for any of the following routes:
    1 - Take a CST train from Seawoods, get off at Sanpada and then take a train to Thane (that has a very poor frequency).
    2 - Take a CST train from Seawoods, get off at Nerul and then take a train to Thane (the Nerul-Thane route).

    But this once, I really timed my journey and I was more than pleased. I took the direct Panvel-Thane slow train and had to change no train to reach Koparkhairane. It just took 20 minutes to cover the distance! The train was not crowded at all and I could board a general compartment. Why general compartment? Well, coz the ladies compartment did not arrive where it ideally does. And there's a reason for that - Read Tip number 2.

    Senior citizen inappropriately detained at Khar

    62-year old Mr Vijay Agarwal had to pay a price for a good deed on 5th February 2010. As per Mumbai Mirror report (18th Feb), he was DETAINED FOR FOUR HOURS at Khar station office. Allegedly, superintendent R K Meena behaved very rudely with him after he insisted on registering a complaint about a stall near the ticket counter. Worst, Mr Agarwal's pass was snatched and torn and 2 GRP guards were posted to 'watch' him. He was allowed to leave only after 11.30 pm!
    On one hand, we the citizens are expected (and rightly so) to bring inappropriate things and unclaimed bags etc. to the notice of the officials. But on the other hand, if this is what we'd end up going through, won't people slowly get into the mode of 'let's mind our own business'? 

    I think the railway officials who are otherwise pretty helpful and trustworthy, should get a lesson or two on being polite and not harassing the ones who are trying to make things better.

    Here's an incident I'd want to talk about at this moment:

    Trains to Panvel are running late

    Harbour line trains towards Panvel are running approximately 10 minutes late today (updated at 9.30 pm on 15th Feb)

    Central, harbour line mega block timings on 7th Feb

    7th February 2010: Mumbai's harbour line is having a mega block today on 6th February 2010 due to railways' maintenance work. Due to the central railway mega block, the local trains will not run from Kurla to Mumbai CST from 11 am to 4 pm. Trains will also not run between Wadala and Bandra (both directions) from 11 am to 4 pm.

    However, up harbour line services from Kurla will take the main line route from 10.40 am to 3.56 pm but will not stop at Curry Road and Chichpokli stations.
    Trains from Mumbai CST towards Panvel will not face a mega block.

    Rahul Gandhi travels in Mumbai local train

    Rahul Gandhi traveled from Andheri to Ghatkopar via Dadar in Mumbai local trains today. His visit did invite protests by the Shiv sainiks but situation was under control. It was impressive that he stayed composed, stood in the queue to buy railway tickets and spoke to the janta.

    What follows is an unending debate on Rahul Gandhi's symbolic act. With news channels covering the trip and then organising debates with politicians and social activists for hours together, it seems that Rahul's trip will keep the political drama buzzing for few more day. Or perhaps, we might see some other politicians travel by Mumbai local trains to prove their point. What do you think?

    Check out what various news sites have to say about it:
    The Times of India:Uddhav after Rahul visit: Mumbai under Mussolini raj
    Hindustan Times: Rahul Gandhi ends Mumbai visit, leaves for Puducherry 
    DNA: Railway cops sweat with only 8 minutes warning

    Boisar-Palghar trains to face block today

    3rd February 2010: There will be a block on the Virar-Dahanu section today between Boisar and Palghar stations due to some track work being carried out. The timing of the block is 10.15 am to 2.45 pm on the Up line.

    Kindly make your travel plans accordingly to avoid inconvenience. Do forward the information to those who travel on this route.

    Info Source: The Times Of India      

    Panvel-Thane first fast trains time table

    From 5th February 2010, two fast trains will run from Panvel to Thane and will halt only at Koparkhairane, Nerul, Belapur and Kharghar stations on the way. Here are the timings of the Panvel-Thane fast trains:

    Click here for Panvel-Thane all trains timings.
    Click here for Thane-Panvel fast trains timings.

    Thane-Panvel first fast trains time table

    From 5th February 2010, two fast trains will run from Thane to Panvel and will halt only at Koparkhairane, Nerul, Belapur and Kharghar stations on the way. Here are the timings of the Thane-Panvel fast trains:

    Click here for Panvel-Nerul-Thane all slow/fast trains time table.
    Click here for Panvel-Thane fast trains timings.

    First 4 fast trains on Thane-Panvel route!

    2nd February 2010: Central railway has finally introduced FAST TRAINS on the Thane-Panvel route! Yes, you are hearing it right! As promised, central railway's four fast trains will run on this route from 5th February 2010.
    Stations where Thane-Panvel fast trains will halt: Thane, Koparkhairane, Nerul, Belapur, Kharghar and Panvel
    Can you believe it, instead of slow trains taking an all of 55 minutes to reach from Thane to Panvel and back, the fast trains will take 48 minutes from Thane to reach Panvel and will take just 46 minutes from Panvel to Thane! Kudos to central railways!

    Click here for Thane-Panvel fast trains time table.
    Click here for Panvel-Thane fast trains timings.

    Check out how Navi Mumbaikar's welcome the train on this blog.