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Mumbai Local Train: The Ultimate Guide
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Mumbai Local Train: The Ultimate Guide

Hi, we are back today with another interesting article about Mumbai. The feature of this blog is Mumbai Local and its important aspects. Mumbai Local train is often considered as the backbone of the city. The local trains of Mumbai have served as a cultural symbol, especially in the entertainment industry. A simple scene of a running train is enough for anyone to identify Mumbai city. These local trains are seen even in black and white Bollywood movies.

In this article the topics we shall be covering are:

  • About Mumbai Local Trains

The first train in India ran from – Mumbai (then Bombay) to Thane on 16 April 1853. This route is one of the most populous routes in today’s Mumbai Local train route. The train started from Bori Bunder Railway Station to Thane. This run is often considered as the first Mumbai Local Train.

Now fast-forwarding to 1867; 14 years after the first train. In 1867, today’s Western Railways began its operations. The first train was from Churchgate in Mumbai to Virar in Thane.

The Harbour Line of Mumbai Local Trains was started in February 1925, when a train started its journey from then Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) to Coorla Harbour (now Kurla).

That is more than enough history on Mumbai Local, now coming to the more important aspect, what are the things to know about Mumbai Local Railways?

There are primary lines of Mumbai Local and 2 secondary lines, making Mumbai Local one of the most complex, yet efficient suburban train network in India.

Primary Railway Routes:

Western Line

Western Line is the busiest line in the Mumbai Local Network. It is managed and operated by Western Railways. Please note that the Western Line and Western Railways are two different entities. Western Railways operates all the trains that lie on the western region of Indian Railway network. Whereas, the Western Line is a route on Mumbai Local’s train network.

The trains start from Churchgate station in Mumbai. The destination various on schedule. However, Dahanu Road is considered as the last stop in this line.

Two types of trains run on this route fast and slow. The slow trains halt at all the stations whereas fast trains halt at selective stations. For further information on the stops of fast trains refer to the map below. 12-Coach and 15-Coach trains operate on the Western Line.

Western Line is the only Mumbai Suburban Division Railway division which operates AC local. This local train operates occasionally through the day. See the timetable for timings.

Central Line

The central line of Mumbai Local suburban division has two lines. Both the lines start from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and diverge after Kalyan. One route ends at Khopoli; whereas, the other route ends at Kasara. The stations till Kalyan are the same. The two lines diverge and lead towards inner Maharashtra. The line ending at Khopoli then goes towards Pune and the other one ending at Kasara is towards Igatpuri.

Central Line of Mumbai’s Suburban Railways is operated by Central Railway. Both terms are completely different. Central Railway is a governing body that looks after operations. Whereas, Central Line is a route on Mumbai Local.

The Central Line is less busy than the Western Line but covers longer distances. Fast and Slow trains run on this line, with slow train halting at all the stations and fast train halting at specific stations. Central Line operates 12-Coach and 15-Coach trains. The frequency of 15-Coach train is very less. The major functioning is during the rush hours of Mumbai Local Train.

Harbour Line

Harbour Line of Mumbai Local primarily operated on the harbour line of the city. However, with the expansion of the city and difficult commute, this line was extended. Currently, the Harbour Line starts from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) – Platform 1 & 2 only. There two different routes on the Harbour Line. The first line ends at Panvel in Navi Mumbai and the other line ends at Andheri in Western Line. Seems a bit complex, indeed, it is. Refer to the map below for a better understanding.

Harbour Line is operated and maintained by Central Railways. Only slow trains are functional on this line, meaning all the trains halt at every station. Harbour Line operates only 12-Coach trains. There are multiple intersections on the Harbour Line. Read below to know all of them.

There are two other Local lines operating in Mumbai:

Trans-Harbour

The trans-Harbour line runs from Thane in the Central Line to Vashi on the Harbour Line. This is a relatively important line for people living and working in the areas on the Thane-Belapur Highway. There are many multinational companies located on this route, thus providing public transportation is essential. Alongside, Mumbai biggest IT Park, MBP (Millennium Business Park) in Mahape is nearest to Ghansoli Railway station on this line.

12-Coach trains run on this line and the operations are taken care of by the Central Railways. All the trains on the Trans-Harbour line are slow trains i.e., a halt at every station. For the overlook of this route, see the map below.

Nerul-Uran

Nerul-Uran is the latest addition to the Mumbai Local Train network. The operations started in November 2018, it is maintained and operated by Central Railways. The route starts from Nerul (between Vashi and Panvel) to Uran, beyond Panvel. The extension is on the Konkan rail route. The trains operating on this route are 12-car. The route is 27 km long, consisting of 10 stations. All the trains on this route are slow trains.

  • Mumbai Local Map

Since the Mumbai Local train network is a complex one, it is essential to understand the routes of different lines. If you are new in Mumbai and have difficulty in travelling on the local trains, please carry a Mumbai Local train map.

You can print this map, take a screenshot, or simply bookmark this page for quick access.

Printable Mumbai Local Train Map

Mumbai Local Train Map
Source: Wikimedia.org
  • How to Read the Mumbai Local Train Indicator

It is very important to know to read the indicator. All the stations on the Mumbai Local network feature a display in red, white, or yellow LED. This display lets the passenger waiting on the platform (station) know which train is coming next.

The details featured in any Mumbai local train indicator is as follows:

  1. Destination – The last stop/station
  2. Time – The scheduled time of the train
  3. Speed – Whether it is a fast or slow train
  4. Number of Coaches – Whether it is a 12-Coach or 15-Coach train
  5. ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival
How to read Mumbai Local Indicator on Central & Western Line
How to read local train indicator
  • List of Stations on Different Lines of Mumbai Local

Mumbai Local Western Line Stations Mumbai Local Central Line Stations

Mumbai Local Central Line Stations

  • Mumbai Local Station Codes

The station codes are important because, the indicators only mention the station code, as above. So, it is important to know two things about the station codes:

  1. All stations do not have a code, only the destination stations have. In simple words, station codes are only for the last station of specific trains. It might not be at the extreme ends on either of the lines, but up till the train is scheduled.
  2. Station Codes are different for different lines, a simple example is that Churchgate on Western Line is “C”, whereas Kurla on Central and Harbour Line is also “C”. So, it is important to know on which line you are travelling.

A line-wise (Western, Central and Harbour) list of Station Codes is mentioned below. Do memorize it. If you are having any difficulty, you can also print it.

Western Line Indicator Station Code

Central Line Indicator Station Code

Harbour Line Indicator Station Code

  • Mumbai Local Rush Hours

Now that you can figure from the source and destination of your travel. Let us look at the aspect of when to travel on Mumbai Local.

Mumbai Local has a huge rush on weekdays. The specific hours of morning and evening observe the maximum crowd. These couple of hours are Mumbai Local Train’s Rush Hour.

Rush hours as per the day of the week on different lines:

Western Line

  • Weekdays (Monday to Friday):
    • Morning: 7:30 AM to 10:00 AM sees the highest public commuting via Mumbai Local.
    • Evening: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM is the busiest time of the day for Western Line.
  • Weekends (Saturday and Sunday): Travelling throughout the day is comfortable, as majority offices have weekly off on the weekends.

Whether weekend or weekday, avoid travelling in the ever-packed Virar Local. The rush is insane, on an average, 1-2 accidents occur alone on this train.

Central Line

  • Weekdays (Monday to Friday):
    • Morning: 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM sees the major crowd on the train.
    • Evening: 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM are the most populated hours of the day.
  • Weekends (Saturday and Sunday): On the Central Line, even weekends are quite populated, however, comparatively, it is less crowded. You can travel comfortably. Nevertheless, do not expect a seat as soon as you board the train.

Harbour Line

Since Harbour Line has major functionality issues and the frequency is comparatively lower than Central and Western Line, it is always crowded. Though, the crowd travels majorly during 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM in the morning and 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the evening.

Trans-Harbour & Nerul-Uran

These are less travelled routes but, peak hours rush from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM in the morning and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the evening are common.

  • How To Travel on Mumbai Local

Another important thing is how to travel on Mumbai local. There are four basic rules for travelling on a Mumbai Local train.

  1. Boarding – Always allow the people to alight first. Boarding the Mumbai Local can be difficult, especially during the rush hours. So, a simple tip is to have either of your feet free and move towards the doors. Lean your body forward and go with the flow. Don’t try and board a train when it’s in motion. Remember, if one leaves, then the next one comes along.
  2. Alignment – If you are not boarding the train from the source, there are rarely any chances that you shall be finding a seat. So, it is better to stay put and keep the doors and gangway clear. If there is no room on the inside, maintain the queue on either side of the gangway.
  3. There are two indicators in every compartment that displays the next station and destination in English, Hindi, and Marathi. Alongside, the same is announced in all three languages. Make sure you keep your eyes and ears open so that you don’t miss your stop.
  4. Alighting – Do not stand at the door when the train starts approaching a station. If you are not a regular traveller, do not even think about alighting from the running train. Not only it is risky, but also it is a criminal offence. Let the crowd in front of you alight and step down carefully once the train is at the halt.

Other things to keep in mind:

  1. Do not travel without a ticket. For a fare of Rs. 5, you shall be paying a fine of Rs. 260, when caught travelling without a valid ticket.
  2. Check the mark on the outside of the coach you are boarding. If it is marked with red and yellow stripes, then it is First Class.
  3. Similarly, check for Ladies only compartment and Handicapped Reserved Compartment as well. It is a jailable offence to travel in these coaches if you do not belong there.
  4. Do not stand at the doors. It is dangerous and an offence.
  • Important Junctions

There are several important junctions which allows a passenger to switch their line of travel on Mumbai Local. These junctions are extensively used by Mumbaikars on a daily basis. The list of junctions and the lines on which they interest are mentioned below:

Important Junctions of Mumbai Local Suburban Railway Network

  • Mumbai Local Ticket & Pass Fare

Mumbai Local train ticket and pass fare defer on distance. The minimum ticket fare is Rs. 5, whereas the maximum fare is Rs. 55 for Dahanu Road from Kasara and vice versa. The minimum fare of a first-class ticket is Rs. 50. Mumbai Local train first-class pass starts from Rs. 165. The ticket fare depends on the distance covered during a journey. Shorter the distance, lower the price, and proportionally for longer distances.

There are a couple of pointers to keep in mind for the ticketing system of Mumbai Local trains:

  1. The fare depends on the distance.
  2. There are three different types of tickets: Second-Class, First-Class and Luggage.
  3. There is no ticket for Differently Abled and Cancer Patients, all they need is their ID card registered with the respective organization defining their different ability. Ordinary people are not allowed to travel in this, and the fine is different than travelling without a valid ticket.
  4. The fine for travelling without a valid ticket or pass is standard Rs. 260. This fine is alike for Second-Class as well as First-Class.
  5. Students get a concession from their school & collage on a seasonal ticket/pass.
  6. Mumbai Local train first-class pass fare is lesser than the total amount of second-class ticket spends.
  7. A ticket/pass can be booked online through the UTS app.
  8. You can swipe your debit card to purchase/renew a seasonal ticket at any station.
  9. A ticket can be issued only from the source of the journey. In other words, you can book a ticket only from the station where the journey starts.
  10. Smart Card / ATVM is a great choice to avoid queues to buy a local train ticket.
  11. There is a separate queue for 1st class ticket and pass.
  • Cultural Importance

The local train is very important for Mumbaikars.  Every day, more than 7.5 million Mumbaikars travel by Mumbai Local. Thus, Mumbai Local has a lot of cultural significance to Mumbai.

Identity

As mentioned in the introduction of this guide, Mumbai Local is the identity of Mumbai city. Mumbai Local is often seen in the movies as the style of telling people that the film or that scene is about Mumbai. Another major identity of this city is closely associated with Mumbai Local Railway, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

Middle-Class/Working-Class

These suburban local train transportations are the primary method of commute for the working class. The intense rush in the morning and evening defines that Mumbai Local is used by several thousand for the commute to work.

Highly Reliable

Mumbai Local trains are highly reliable. Even though, the majority of the times trains are running late from their scheduled time; the frequency of the next one showing is still the same. Unless there is major rainfall, resulting in flood, Mumbai Local is always reliable. With Mumbai Local you beat the traffic and reach any place on time. The only thing you need to do is plan your travel.

The Backbone of Mumbai Police

Mumbai Local is often regarded as the backbone of not only Mumbaikars but also Mumbai Police. It is so popular that Mumbai Mirror editors use this point as a clue in their Crossword.

Movies

There are many films either based or revolving around the Mumbai Local. Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local, end sequence of Slumdog Millionaire and Baton Baton Mein are to name a few. These films do not have anything extraordinary, but the fact that Mumbai Local, just makes it relatable. And, once you connect with someone’s heart, there must be something terribly wrong to change their mind.

  • Local Train Timetable

Local train timetable differs from station to station. The best is to install the m-Indicator mobile app from Google Play Store and App Store. However, the frequency of slow trains on the Western Line is once in every 3-minutes. And, on the Central Line, one train scheduled every 4-minutes.

So yes, that is it. The complete Mumbai Local Guide. Do let us know about your experience with Mumbai Local and its importance for you.

This is the guide on Mumbai Local trains. It is everything you must know, and more. Even then if we have left out any other important aspect, do let us know in comments below.

Vatsal Vora

A writer with flair sense of writing and a creative mind which continues to explore new places to visit and quirky delicacies for the whole and sole purpose stating that life is given to us only once; why not experience the human emotions in the form of food rather than whining about the missed opportunities.
Vatsal Vora started his professional career as a client servicing executive to a writer and being the editor and founder of this blog. Working with just one motive: “No matter how it is done; it is supposed to be completed with quality and result being the integrated aspect of any work in hand.”
A believer of second chances and many more after them, because people tend to change, and once loved can always be loved again, just need time and enough confidence in the universe and more than required faith in oneself.

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