Mumbai Suburban Railway system, in spite of heavy demands on it, has provided an "efficient" and "reliable" service. Overcrowding has grown to such an extent that 4,700 passengers are traveling per 9-car train during peak hours, as against the rated carrying capacity of 1,700. This has resulted in, what is known as, super dense crush load of 14-16 standing passengers per square metre of floor space !
Given the geographical spread of the population and location of business areas, the rail network will continue to be the principal mode of mass transport in Mumbai.
To enable the Mumbai Suburban Railway to meet the demands of the ever-growing passenger traffic, Ministry of Railways and the Government of Maharashtra envisioned MRVC.
Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd (MRVC Ltd), a public sector unit of Govt. of India under Ministry of Railways (MOR) was incorporated under Companies Act,1956 on July 12, 1999. with an equity capital of Rs. 25 Crores shared in the ratio of 51:49 between Ministry of Railways and Government of Maharashtra to implement the Rail Component of an integrated rail-cum-road urban transport project called Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP). The cost of the Rail Component of the project is to be shared equally by Ministry of Railways and Government of Maharashtra.
The Suburban Railway system in Mumbai is perhaps the most complex, densely loaded and intensively utilised system in the world. Spread over 302 route km, it operates on 1500 V DC power supply from overhead catenary. The suburban services are run by electric multiple units (EMUs). 184 rakes (train sets) of 9-car and 12-car composition are utilised to run 2067 train services to carry 6.1 million passengers per day.
Two zonal Railways, the Western Railway (WR) and the Central Railway (CR), operate the Mumbai Suburban Railway system.
Two corridors (one local and other through) on Western Railway run northwards from Churchgate terminus parallel to the west coast up to Virar (60 km). These corridors are popularly referred to as ’Western Line’ by the locals.
Two corridors (one local and other through) on Central Railway run from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to Kalyan (54 km),from where it bifurcates into Kalyan-Kasara (67 km) in the north-east and Kalyan-Karjat-Khopoli(61 km) in south-east.These corridors are popularly referred to as ’Central Line’ or ’Main Line’ by the locals.
The 5th corridor on Central Railway runs from CST to Raoli Junction (11 km) from where the line splits. One line goes north west to join WR at Mahim and goes up to Andheri (11 km) and the other goes eastward to terminate at Panvel (39 km) via Navi Mumbai. This corridor is popularly referred to as ’Harbour Line’ by the locals.
At present, the fast corridors on Central Railway as well as Western Railway are shared for long distance (Main line) and freight trains.