Mumbai: The carrying capacity, efficiency and comfort of suburban trains is expected to improve significantly with the World Bank approving a $430 million (Dh1.57 billion) loan for financing the second phase of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP-2).

The Railways and Government of Maharashtra will now have to pitch in to raise funds to carry forward the project that is expected to cost Rs53 billion. Though the World Bank loan was cleared in July, Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa informed Parliament on this matter yesterday.

Through the MUTP-2, new suburban railway lines between Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Kurla, Thane and Diva and Mumbai Central and Borivili as well as an extension of the Harbour Line from Andheri to Goregaon will take off.

The objective is to segregate long distance passenger and freight lines from suburban trains between CST and Kalyan thus releasing capacity to run suburban trains on existing corridors.

It will also help provide the arrival of intercity and long distance trains at CST and Kurla in the morning hours, for which there is a large demand.

The World Bank loan will be used for procuring 864 additional Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) cars, which will increase the total fleet to around 3,124 cars.

The loan will also finance the electrical equipment for the new cars, to be manufactured at Chennai Integral Coach Factory.

Under this project, there will be conversion of power supply from direct current to alternating current and improvement to signals and telecoms.