Flying local impact: Trains crawl into Churchgate as magnets are installed

Taking no chances after the June 28 crash, railway authorities have installed magnetic inductors near platforms 3 and 4 of Churchgate station to limit the speed of incoming trains

For Mumbaikars used to rushing into local trains as soon as they enter the platform, the wait proved agonising at Churchgate station yesterday. Waiting passengers on platforms 3 and 4 of the station stood bewildered as the trains seemed to crawl in.

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This fast local from Bhayander had overshot the tracks and ‘flown’ onto platform no 3 of Churchgate on June 28
This fast local from Bhayander had overshot the tracks and ‘flown’ onto platform no 3 of Churchgate on June 28

This was the result of inductors, consisting of magnets, being installed before the platforms and buffers in the station to prevent train crashes, like the one on June 28, from happening again.

The trains’ speeds have been restricted to 30 kmph as they enter the platforms and 10 kmph when they are less than 50 metres from the buffers. And, while officials admit that the move is likely to cause a delay, they said it is necessary to ensure passenger safety.

Quick work
mid-day had reported on June 30 that the railway authorities were mulling installing magnetic inductors as part of its Auxiliary Warning System (AWS) ahead of terminuses on both CR and WR to automatically limit the speeds of trains if they are going too fast while entering the platform.

Watch Video: Mumbai local train crashing into platform

On Sunday night, a week after the Churchgate accident, the inductors were installed on platform 3 and 4 of the station and on 3, 4, 5, and 6 of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. While the inductors at Churchgate were operational yesterday, the ones at CST are yet to be synchronised with the AWS and are expected to work in a day or two.

The inductors will also be installed on platforms 1 and 2 of Churchgate station. The inductors have been installed before the platforms, where a speed restriction of 30 kmph has been enforced and 50 metres from the buffer, where the maximum allowed speed is 10 kmph.

Trains on the Western line were running late by around 10 minutes yesterday, but officials said they cannot yet say how much of this delay was because of the trains’ speeds being curtailed at Churchgate.

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The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) had asked the railway authorities to install these magnets to prevent speeding. “Safety is more important than anything else. The delays will be very marginal,” said Chetan Bakshi, CRS. “We are looking at the safety aspect, although we know trains’ punctuality will be partly hit,” said a WR official.

Motormen speak
Motormen said that if these inductors had been put in place earlier, the accident would have never taken place . “When we decided to run trains at 10 kmph while entering the platforms as per a work rule a couple of years ago, the administration had objected saying it would lead to train delays, and now they are doing this,” said a motorman.

30 kmph
The maximum speed at which trains will be allowed to enter platforms

10 kmph
Speed they will be restricted to once they come within 50 metres of the buffer

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