Mumbai Rains: One day of rain sends railways down the drain

Jun 29, 2017, 08:36 IST | Shashank Rao

Both the Central and Western lines witnessed a series of problems — from eroding tracks and falling trees, to signal and engine malfunctions — leading to cancellation and delay in services; trains ran at 20 kmph

Cancellations and delays in services left huge crowds waiting at Andheri railway station
Cancellations and delays in services left huge crowds waiting at Andheri railway station

All it took was one day of heavy rains to send the Central Railway's Harbour line down the drain. Gutters overflowed onto the tracks at Mankhurd, weakening the soil beneath and forcing officials to halt services for 35 minutes as they reinforced the tracks and ballasts.

Downplaying the issue
CR shut down services towards CST from 8.22 am to 8.57 am, after which trains were slowed down to a cautious speed of 20 kmph, leading to delays in the services.

"The train services were shut for 35 minutes on the Harbour line due to the problem at Mankhurd. However it wasn't that big an incident," insisted Sunil Udasi, chief PRO, Central Railway.

However, the incident brought back memories of the derailment at Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar in February, also caused by sewage lines leaking and eroding the tracks. There are slums along the tracks as well, due to which piles of garbage are found on the rail lines, causing yet more trouble for the authorities.

Triple threat
Even as the CR shut down services towards CST in the morning peak hours, another Harbour line arm — the Mahim-Bandra route that ferries people to the Western line — was also affected by rains. In the early hours, from 4.10 am to 6 am, trains were delayed due to glitches in the signalling and switching system. Since the signal system was hampered by rains, trains were operating on the 'A marker- system, in which trains simply proceed at slower speeds, with the motorman honking as a warning of the approaching train.

The western Railway (WR) had its own share of problems as well. In the evening hours, a tree collapsed on the overhead cables between Lower Parel and Mahalaxmi stations, due to which the slow line towards Borivli was affected. An official said, "We had to schedule an urgent power block to remove the tree. Services resumed in 45 minutes."

Trains were also running late on the main line of CR throughout the day, as there was yet another engine failure. In all, the railways had to cancel over 80 services throughout the day, while nearly 180 services were delayed by 10-15 minutes.

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