Mumbai: Central Railway motorman tries to skip stop signal, causes day-long snag on Harbour line

The motorman claims he did not see the red stop sign while entering CST; the incident delayed trains by 20-25 minutes during morning peak hours

Hours after the 72-hour mega block ended between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Wadala, a snag at CST hit train services on the Harbour line in the morning peak hours.

Also Read: Motorman jumps signal near Chembur; commuters protest delay

While carrying out the extension work on platforms for accommodating 12-car trains, CR had also shifted nearly 15 signals during the 72-hour mega block. PIC/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
While carrying out the extension work on platforms for accommodating 12-car trains, CR had also shifted nearly 15 signals during the 72-hour mega block. PIC/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

At around 7.25 am, a ‘danger signal’ was passed from an Andheri-CST train, after it tried to run past a stop sign. The motorman running the train claims he did not see the red stop sign while approaching CST.

Sources said the motorman crossed the signal when it was red. Brakes were automatically applied on the train, since the system responds to a train running against a stop signal in this manner.

Read Story: Services take a hit after motorman jumps signal

While the motorman on the Andheri-CST train claims he did not see the signal, the automatic application of brakes may have caused his train and a CST-Bandra train – leaving from Platform 1 – from colliding head on.

Post the mega block, train services had resumed by 4.30 am as usual and within 3 hours, this problem erupted. The incident at CST created ripples throughout the Harbour line, and took an ugly turn at Chembur. CR officials said that between 7.30 am to 8 am, irritated commuters came on tracks in protest and in this process, train services that were already running late, got blocked.
Finally the railway police intervened and calmed the situation by managing to resume train services.

“We had to cancel a few services to normalise the schedule as trains were late by 20-25 minutes in the morning hours,” said a CR official.

Gradually during the day, the trains were running late by 10 minutes or so, and nearly 10 services were cancelled. If this wasn’t enough, CR has also implemented a speed restriction at Dockyard Road station. Officials said that during the mega block they also cut a hill there.

“The hill had to be cut in order to allow extension of 12-car trains,” said an official. However, this has caused problem as the hill is close to the rail bridge, and now a speed restriction of 15-20 kmph has been marked there. Sources said these teething troubles will continue for few days as there have been lot of changes on Harbour line.

Signal displacement caused snag?
Officials said they would have to see if Sunday’s displacement of signal poles could be a reason for this Signal Passing At Danger (SPAD) case. During the 72-hour block, the Central Railway (CR) and Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) shifted nearly 15 signals as part of the extension process for 12-car trains on Harbour line. These signals have been shifted further towards the Dadar end of CST station. 

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