Asia’s oldest rail tunnel situated in Mumbai seem to need urgent repairs

Things we build gets older and needs repairing at one point of time. Based on the available sources, one of the oldest rail tunnels in Asia that connect Mumbai its distant suburbs needs immediate repairs. Central Railway (CR) has planned to create a channel to turn away the dripping water from the tunnel.

Parsik tunnel, one of the oldest rail tunnels in Asia connecting Mumbai with its distant outskirts was created in the year 1873. Now the condition of this tunnel is so bad that there are multiple leakages inside the tunnel that causes the water to sprays onto the passing train and its ceiling is cracked right beneath the rocky hill. CR has planned to repair this deteriorating tunnel.

[su_expand more_text=”READ MORE” less_text=” ” height=”0″ hide_less=”yes” link_style=”button” link_align=”center”] According to Sources over the years, there have been a lot of illegal slums that have cropped up above this rail tunnel. “Earlier there were trees that now have been replaced by slums. We have built walls to prevent slums from coming near the tracks,” said by CR official.

This tunnel has been going through a lot of activities which are the major reasons behind the weakening of it. The number of slums is growing upwards on top of the Parsik hill, in spite of regular demolition, drives carried out by civic bodies. With several toilet blocks there, the residents also throw garbage on rail tracks. The officials stated that during monsoon the water stream leaks through the cracked ceiling of this tunnel and has now weakened it even more.

The tunnel caters to the fast lines are 1.3km long. Wherein trains ply between Thane and Dombivli stations while the tunnel on the slow line is barely 100 metres long or so. It is between Kalwa and Mumbra stations.


Madhu Kotian, president of Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh said that “It is like a waterfall inside the tunnel. The track on which fast trains pass is more affected.” Soil erosion above the tunnel caused due to the deforestation has added to the difficulty creating more leakages to it.

The officials have stated that during the monsoon situation gets more severe and to avoid that water flow above the Parsik tunnel they need to channelize water leakage. Another CR official informed that “We will be putting a 5mm thick cement layer and create a channel for diverting the water.”

The condition of the tunnel is getting deteriorated with time and causing threat
The condition of the tunnel is getting deteriorated with time and causing threat

This new coating will be from the over it that supply electricity to trains and on the existing cracked layer inside the tunnel. The authorities stated that they cannot enlarge the coating due to the 25,000 volt Alternating Current cables with needs to maintain sufficient gap from the train’s coach.

In June 2015, the Central Railway authorities completed power up gradation between Thane and Kalyan from 1,500 volt DC to 25,000 volt AC. During this period, the authorities lowered the tracks inside Parsik tunnel. They had also put speed restrictions for trains.

The officials have agreed to the water leakages that added to the problem for travellers who used to complain about getting wet from the leaking water inside the tunnel. According to the CR official, “On an average each train loses three minutes due to the speed restriction inside the tunnel.”

When CR had approached an external agency, the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CMRI), they had suggested that the mouth of these leakages coming from the hill to be blocked, but then there was a possibility that the crack in the tunnel might spread Railway engineers decided to have this 5mm cement layer.

It is not yet decided when the work will be carried out. Still CR authorities have claimed that it could be possible for the work to start during a night of a mega block when train services are shut. That is the only option to work out on the tunnel hitches. At present, it’s in the urgent need to make at least temporary repair for the smooth functioning of the trains which has to start as soon as possible.

Source: MID DAY [/su_expand]

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