The DC-to-AC conversion was expected to make Central Railway run smoother; however, not only have services gone off track, thanks to speed restrictions at certain spots, but the lowering of railway tracks near Currey Road and Matunga stations is expected to result in waterlogging and the inevitable disruption of services
In a bid to prevent waterlogging, the Central Railway (CR) had raised the height of tracks at a few low-lying spots, a couple of years back. Now it has again lowered the height of tracks at two locations Currey Road and Matunga which are notorious for waterlogging during the monsoon.
The lowering of the tracks by 1 cm at Currey Road means such scenes will be all too common this monsoon. Files pic
Though this has been done to accommodate the power upgradation to 25,000-volt AC from 1,500-volt DC, officials fear that there could be problematic days this monsoon due to this exercise. To compound CR’s woes, train services are getting cancelled and running late after the power conversion to 25,000-volt AC.
Will the system manage to beat the monsoon this year?
Officials agreed that these teething problems may remain for a few days. “The tracks have been lowered by 1 cm at Currey Road on the Up local line (slow line towards CST) and by 2 cm at Matunga on the Up through line (fast line towards CST),” said a CR official, on condition of anonymity. This track height reduction means that there could be an adverse effect on train travel during heavy rains.
Moreover, the Currey Road-Parel and Matunga-Sion-Kurla stretches are known for waterlogging as there are clogged nullahs on these tracks, which have created problems earlier too. However, authorities claim that they have cleared the debris and muck that had collected near these nullahs.
Sources said these tracks have been lowered as one of the options for accommodating the power conversion from 1,500-volt DC to 25,000-volt AC. The CR had to create buffer space above the EMUs due to higher voltage, and, so, apart from cropping the catenary wire of the overhead cables, it has also chipped away at the wheels of the EMUs and also lowered tracks, especially under the road- and foot over bridges.
DC-AC conversion: Power conversion over, CR set to go after old bridges
Presently, after the power upgradation, CR train services are already running late by at least 15-20 minutes every day. The problem is expected to continue at least till this month-end, by which time the system would have set in.
“On an average, around 300 services are being affected, either by getting cancelled or running late,” said a Central Railway official.