Services between CST and Wadala were suspended for three hours in the early morning and then ran about 30 minutes late
A bid to end maintenance work quickly and resume train services on time resulted in the opposite for Central Railway – services were suspended between CST and Wadala for three hours after a goods train derailed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in the wee hours yesterday. The goods train was carrying about 600 tonnes of stone ballasts into the station for maintenance work and derailed as it was leaving the station before the tracks could be cleared of the rocks.
The wheels ran onto the stones on the tracks, leading to the derailment. As per procedure, the rocks should have been cleared before, but workers were in a rush to meet the deadline
As Central Railway (CR) and the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) gear up for the humungous 72-hour mega block that wil take place this weekend, they have already started carrying out preliminary work during nightly blocks between 1.30 am and 4.30 am.
It was for this work that the 10-coach goods train rolled into CST around 4 am, carrying fresh ballasts to place under the cement sleepers on which the tracks rest. Each coach carried about 60 tonnes of ballasts, which are released directly onto the tracks through chutes.
“As per the process, the gangmen are supposed to go beneath the coaches and clear these ballasts from the tracks before the train leaves. But as there was a deadline to maintain, the train left immediately,” said a CR official.
Because of this, there were ballasts on the guard rail (additional piece of rail placed on curvatures to prevent the train shifting from alignment). As the train was manoeuvring a turn, the wheels climbed onto the rocks and derailed. This happened around 4.07 am, with just 23 minutes to go before the end of the block. However, the derailment put services off kilter until 8.09 am, when the first train (Belapur-bound) finally departed.
“We cancelled 70 train services due to this,” said Narendra Patil, chief PRO for CR.
Even after services resumed, Harbour line trains were running about 30 minutes late, and passengers complained of crowded trains and stations, and many posted about their plight on social media as well.