MMRDA invites bids for Matheran funicular railway

The much-awaited funicular railway at Matheran may turn into reality soon, as Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has floated tenders for the project on built-operate and transfer (BOT) basis. The scope of the project, as per the tender with last date of March 21 for submitting bids, includes designing, construction, development, financing, operation and maintenance of funicular railway between Matheran and Dudhani, a statement here today stated. The Funicular Railway system would be Double Reversible Funicular railway with two passenger cars and attached goods trolley. Currently, a narrow-gauge railway line is connecting Neral and Matheran on the Central Railway’s Mumbai-Pune route. This line is 20 km long and takes about two hours. Once the Funicular Railway is operational, it will make it possible to travel from Dudhani to Mailllot Spring Point in 10 minutes. ”Matheran is a popular tourist destination and funicular railway will be an added attraction for tourists. This project will be a landmark for MMRDA and would also boost tourism by improving connectivity to the hill station, one of the most important tourist attractions in the region,” said, Ashwini Bhide, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner of MMRDA. The Rs 100 crore project would cover a route of 1.3 km from Dudhani village near Panvel to Maillot Spring Point. Lower Terminal Point (LTP) will be near village Dudhani. LTP area is located about 1.3 km beyond the village of Dudhani with an altitude of 260 meter with Upper Terminal Point (UTP) at Matheran. This area is located below the Maillot Spring Point and near the Sunset Point at Matheran. Dudhani Point will have a parking facility for 500 cars and restaurants at UTP and LTP.

Two rakes with capacity of 60 passengers each would be guided by cables along the tracks. The train will pass through beautiful valleys of Matheran enhancing travelling experience. Moreover, during non-peak hours and non-peak seasons, the funicular railway can also be used for transporting goods uphill, an added advantage to the residents of hill, the release added.

— (UNI)

Tram-like train will cut tedious trek to Matheran

Travellers lamenting the lack of an efficient transport system to reach Matheran have reason to rejoice. By the end of 2012, tourists who had to make an arduous 3-km trek, will be able to travel from Dodhani Village till Sunset Point in the comfort of a funicular train. The Mumbai Metropolitan
Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will float tenders next week for setting up the system, which will cost more than Rs 100 crore.

“The project will boost tourism and improve connectivity to Matheran, the most important tourist attraction in the region.” Joint Metropolitan Commissioner Ashwini Bhide said. The project will cover a route of 1.3 km from Dodhani Village near Panvel to Maillot Sunset Point. Currently, travellers can access the hill resort through a narrow-gauge railway line connecting Neral and Matheran on the Central Railway’s Mumbai-Pune route.

This line is 20-km long and takes about two hours of travelling and is sometimes closed during the monsoon. The other option is the road route from Neral, which is 9 km of hilly terrain to Dasturi Point. It takes 30 minutes and as motor vehicles are not allowed in Matheran, visitors have to undertake a 3-km walk that takes about 45 minutes.

Once the funicular railway is in place, the distance will reduce to 15 minutes. During non-peak hours, the funicular railway can also be used for transporting goods.

MMRDA officials claimed they are likely to finalise tenders by the year-end and passengers can use the service by December 2012.

Metro rail tracks to have anti-noise technology

The ambitious Metro rail project of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will not only be one of the most efficient Mass Rapid Transport Systems (MRTS) in the city but is also expected to scale high on environmental efficiency.

As MMRDA has kept high priority for environment-friendly technology’s adoption in development of Metro rail, the development authority is confident of achieving the same through installations of elastomeric pads which controls the noise levels of running train.

According to Joint Project Director (PR), Dilip Kawathkar, there were many challenges in Metro rail project in Mumbai. “Mumbai is the city with population density of about 30,000 people per square kilometer. The total length of Metro rail will be more than 145km. There are many schools, colleges and hospitals in vicinity of the project and in future more such institutions might come up alongside the project. We had to emphasize on the technology which would provide excellent services to the commuters along with least possible disturbances to the people of Mumbai.”

Kawathakar said that this issue was taken in due consideration while incepting the project and hence, had approved of the technology of elastomeric pads. Under this technology, the elastomeric pads are installed between concrete structures and tracks. This helps in reducing vibrations and noise. This technology is used globally in many industries including railway tracks, railway bridges, constructions etc.