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Indian Railways follows France’s footsteps! Soon, new design bridges to come up on narrow platforms in Mumbai

Devanjana Nag

Mumbaikars, soon one of your biggest commuting woes will end! With not enough space for the construction of foot-over-bridges (FOBs), the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) is planning to adopt the double discharge design for bridges at various railway stations. The new design, in line with France, makes use of two landings on the platform. According to an MRVC official, quoted in a Mumbai Mirror report, the upper landing will be equipped with an escalator. On the other hand, the lower landing will have a staircase. This way, it will be ensured that a FOB is equipped with both a staircase and an escalator. He further elaborated that since the escalator and the staircase are not built side by side, little horizontal space will be occupied.

According to the report, the model can only be implemented on those bridges that have an upper deck with a minimum 10 m width. Also, the inner staircase has to have connectivity to the upper deck. Another MRVC official further stated that at present, all the double discharge bridges are planned on Western Railway zone, however, the concept will also be recreated at other railway stations on Central Railway zone where the required width criteria is met.

In a study conducted by the MRVC, it was found that nearly 11.24 lakh commuters use Western Railway train services during morning peak hours between 7:30 AM and 11:00 AM. The study also found that Prabhadevi-Dadar section witnesses the highest load of about 1.45 lakh commuters within an hour, followed by Matunga-Dadar section and Khar Road-Andheri section, which witnesses nearly 81,844 commuters during evening peak hours. According to MRVC officials quoted in the report, during rush hours, around 3,000 passengers may be traversing through a busy railway station like Andheri. Thus, considering the trains offloading commuters every two minutes, the platforms, as well as the bridges, are bound to be crowded.

According to the officials, the idea behind this move was to increase the capacity but without having to build more FOBs. Considering the space constraint on platforms, this concept is an ideal solution. It is being said that compared to a conventional FOB, this will clear the passenger load at an increased speed.