Another disastrous day for CR: Popped wire, motor coach breakdown

The catenary wire of the overhead cable snapping at Dadar, the motor coach of a train breaking down near Vikhroli, and a point failure near Wadala all of this meant 55 services were cancelled on the Main and Harbour lines

Problems continue to dog the resilient but tired commuters on the two lines of Central Railway – Harbour line and Main line. Yesterday was a bad day even by CR’s standards, with a series of failures resulting in several services being cancelled across the two lines.

Watch video: Overhead wire snaps at Dadar, Central line services disrupted

Due to the overhead cable snapping at Dadar, slow trains were diverted to the fast line between Vidyavihar and Matunga. Pic/Atul KambleDue to the overhead cable snapping at Dadar, slow trains were diverted to the fast line between Vidyavihar and Matunga. Pic/Atul Kamble

The day had an ominous beginning when, at 7.12 am at Dadar, a loud bang woke up the commuters who were still trying to catch a wink on their way to their workplaces. The catenary wire, which connects the overhead cable (OHE) to the pantograph had snapped just as the CST-bound slow train entered the platform.

This happened right below the foot over bridge (FOB), where authorities had carried out technical changes during the upgradation to 25,000-volt AC supply system. “The catenary wire experienced problems, and due to the high voltage, it burst into flames,” said a CR official, who warned that these teething problems would persist in the days to come.

Sources said that after the power upgradation, though the cables and equipment have been converted to work on 25000-volt supply, it is difficult to maintain them and that these cables also need an overhaul. Due to this, trains on the slow line were diverted on the fast line between Vidyavihar and Matunga, while workers were deputed to repair the cables. By 9.40 am, the problem had been taken care of Vikhroli.

The day had more in store for CR officials; in another incident of poor maintenance, a unit the motor coach of a train broke down at Vikhroli. The Thane-bound train suffered this issue at 5.21 pm and was cleared at 5.39 pm. Sources said that, normally, a train can move even with two out of the four motor coaches in a 12-car train not functioning.

Finally, a point failure was seen around 6.15 pm in the evening at Raoli junction, near Wadala Road station on the Harbour line. A point is a device that allows a train to change tracks. When clamped, it doesn’t allow trains to switch the tracks. These points are clamped during waterlogging, and authorities forgot to replace the clamps after the water receded.

“We had clamped points at Raoli junction due to waterlogging, but after that, the clamps weren’t replaced, as was required,” said another CR official. Thus, services from CST to Andheri were cancelled and platforms were filled with worried commuters waiting for a train to come.

This failure is being seen as the fallout of not having a maintenance mega block last Sunday. “We cancelled more than 55 train services due to these issues,” said A K Singh, spokesperson, Central Railway.

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