Here's how Mumbai's Harbour line came to a standstill

3 wagons, brake van go off the rails at GTB Nagar; tracks' sogging by sewerage likely to be cause

The Delhi-bound train carrying pulses derailed at GTB Nagar station at 4.09 am. Pics/ Pradeep DhivarThe Delhi-bound train carrying pulses derailed at GTB Nagar station at 4.09 am. Pics/ Pradeep Dhivar

Massive chaos ensued after three wagons and a brake van of a 45-wagon goods train carrying nearly 2 tonnes of pulses in each derailed at 4.09 am today at GTB Nagar station.

The Delhi-bound goods train had started from the Mumbai Port Trust. As it reached the Kurla-end of GTB Nagar station on its way to Panvel, its wagons derailed.

The wheels of the wagons slid off the tracksThe wheels of the wagons slid off the tracks

A considerable portion of the track next to the platform and the concrete sleepers were uprooted. The wagons separated from their wheels.

Central Railway (CR) officials suspect that sewerage from a nullah running parallel to the tracks had loosened the soil and caused the derailment.

Services affected
Harbour line services of CR between Kurla and Wadala stations were the immediate casualty of the derailment — sources said at least 60 services had been cancelled till the time of going to press — and were expected to be hit till this evening.

As the halting of services set off a chain reaction, commuters at Kurla station wait impatiently for their trains. Pics/Sayyed Sameer AbediAs the halting of services set off a chain reaction, commuters at Kurla station wait impatiently for their trains. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

While a number of services were cancelled, around 9.40 am, those between Panvel and CST were made slowly operational. However, there was a delay of over 20-25 minutes between two trains. Kurla-Panvel trains remained cancelled. Six additional services were pressed into operation.

BEST ran four extra buses from Kurla to Wadala and two to Trombay to take on the mad rush of commuters.

Sewerage on tracks
Owing to the derailment, the wheels of the wagons had damaged the nullah and sewerage had flowed onto the tracks. There are slums on either side of the station, and officials said their presence could make restoration work difficult.

Workers were removing the sacks of pulses from the derailed wagons. Officials said a truck would be deployed to clear the load of pulses as soon as possible.

A crane was also deployed to lift the wagons and take them to Kurla.

The top railway CR official, general manager DK Sharma, who was at the site was seen losing his cool often.

Keeping media at a distance
He directed the railway police to prevent media personnel and gawkers, who thronged the foot overbridge and the platform, from crowding the site.

"The water line has been broken owing to the derailment. But we have started running up (CST)-bound trains," said Sharma.

Asked when all services would be back on track, he said, “We have run two trains to CST now. What more do you want? We don’t have time for this.”

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