Commuters travelling to Churchgate yesterday experienced a 30-minute delay around 8 am in the morning and a cascading effect was felt throughout the day when an engine damaged a crossover point a vital track component at Churchgate station.

The delay occurred owing to a near accident that took place in the wee hours of Wednesday when a train and an engine leaving Churchgate station almost collided around 4.45 am. Fortunately, the train’s motorman realising that a disaster was about to take place, pressed the brakes and averted the accident. However, the incident damaged the crossover point.

Sources said that it could have been worse if the train had proceeded further. Speaking about the incident, officials added that during such periods, rail movements are erratic, as there are few trains operating and running.

“The engine was heading for shunting purposes,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief Public Relations Officer of the WR, adding that the engine driver was taken for a medical test after the incident, which further delayed train movement by an hour.

Sources told MiD DAY that the work on replacing the point went on for at least three hours till 8 am, which led to delays in trains coming to Churchgate from Virar and Borivli on the fast line and also in some cases, led to cancellations.