An air-conditioned VIP lounge, pre-paid taxi system, parking facility, retiring room and a food plaza are some of the facilities that are expected to be made available at Borivali and Andheri railway stations on the Western Railway (WR) in the coming months, with zonal railways upgrading the status of the two stations on its suburban section to ‘A1’ category.
Based on the income from passengers, the Indian Railways classifies its stations into seven categories; A1, A, B, C, D, E and F. While all suburban railway stations are classified as C category stations, the railways can review the status of a suburban station that caters to both suburban and non-suburban passengers.
An A1 category railway station is a non-suburban railway station, which has an annual passenger earning of more than Rs 50 crore. WR recently decided to include the Borivali and Andheri railway stations under A1 category, thereby putting the two stations at par with non-suburban railway stations like Mumbai Central and Bandra Terminus.
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“The annual non-suburban earning of Borivali and Andheri is much more than Rs 50 crore. By classifying the two stations as A1, the railways can provide better services to non-suburban passengers,” said a senior WR officer.
In fiscal year 2013-14, the non-suburban earning from Borivali station was Rs 123.30 crore and from Andheri station it was Rs.92.38crore. The income for non-suburban passengers at Mumbai Central railway station, which is already a A1 category station, was Rs 380.19 crore while that from Bandra Terminus was Rs 311.36 crore.
A total of 120 long distance trains or 60 pairs of Up and Down trains halt daily at Borivali while 14 pairs of trains halt at Andheri station, creating a huge demand for facilities by non-suburban passengers at the two suburban railway stations.
Electronic train indicator boards at station entrance/concourse, foot over bridges and platforms, upper and second class waiting rooms – including separate rooms for women, computerisation of passenger complaints and public phone booth facility are some of the additional amenities that are provided at stations catering to non-suburban passengers.