Mumbai: CR's new 25,000-volt AC supply electrocutes owl

An owl perched atop an overhead cable died due to electrocution while Central Railway (CR) was carrying out its power upgradation to 25,000 volts AC supply. The incident occurred during CR’s test run of suburban trains on the new power supply in the wee hours yesterday.

The owl sat close to some object on the wire, completing the circuit, during CR’s test run of the new power supply
The owl sat close to some object on the wire, completing the circuit, during CR’s test run of the new power supply

“This happened near Kurla around 2.50 am. We heard a loud noise and thought there was some technical issue, but we realised that an owl had been electrocuted on the cable,” said a senior CR official.

Sources said the bird must have been sitting close to some object on the wire, which led to it accidentally completing the circuit. CR authorities tested power upgradation to 25,000-volt AC on the CST-Thane stretch on Saturday night right up to Sunday morning.

CR ran two EMU local trains and two sets of locomotives on the CST-Kalyan route on both the fast and slow lines. “We tested at 100 kmph,” said Mukesh Nigam, DRM (Mumbai), CR. The last local train on December 20 left at 10.43 from CST. By midnight, the entire line of overhead wires and electric components of the existing 1,500-volt DC was being dismantled.

The system was charged to 25,000 volts by 2.50am and was live till 4.15 am, during which trial runs were conducted. The first train was operated at 6.15 am after reverting to the 1,500-volt DC supply.

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