Commuters complained that trains were moving at a snail’s pace on the stretch. “Trains were moving slowly towards Bandra station. Our train towards CST was made to wait,” said S Nair, a resident of Goregaon, who took the train from Andheri. According to sources, an important engineering operation, which was supposed to be carried out on this particular section didn’t get sufficient time for completion. “We had to replace wooden sleepers with concrete ones. This needs at least 12 hours,” said a WR official, requesting anonymity.
The official added that heavy machines were pressed into action to lift a complete set of sleepers, which connects two tracks, and replace it with cement ones. Sources added that since one of the stretches included working on a crossover — a section that enables a train to switch from one line to the other — it made the task more challenging.
“Trains were running slowly on the down line (towards Andheri) between Bandra and Mahim. But it didn’t affect services much,” said Nitin David, spokesperson, WR. According to WR, the work carried out by them allows trains to run at a much faster pace, as cement sleepers can bear greater load than wooden ones.
Officials said that since workers had to replace gravel, which they had removed while changing the sleepers, it took a while for them to complete the job. They added that gravel enhances sleepers’ load-bearing caapacity.