Mumbai: After Andheri scare, WR, CR to check 100+ escalators

Updated: Feb 20, 2020, 07:45 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

"We will gather information about the incident and examine the escalators on our network too," a CR spokesperson said

When mid-day visited the site, the escalator in question was shut for public use and several technicians from the company that manufactured it along with railway officials were inspecting it
When mid-day visited the site, the escalator in question was shut for public use and several technicians from the company that manufactured it along with railway officials were inspecting it

The dangerous reverse movement of escalators at Western Railway's (WR) Andheri station on Monday evening has prompted an inspection of escalators on all suburban railway stations. Railway stations on both Central Railway (CR) and WR have over 100 functional escalators, including the Harbour Line and major termini.

As per official statistics, till December 2019, WR's Mumbai division has 48 escalators (16 having been built in 2019) and CR's Mumbai division has 67 escalators with about nine built in 2019. More are being planned and developed on both networks.

"We will gather information about the incident and examine the escalators on our network too," a CR spokesperson said.

A railway electrical engineer, on condition of anonymity, said that the direction and movement of an escalator are decided by two prime things — the power supply phases and an operation switch. "There are three phases of power supply — one results in clockwise movement, another, anticlockwise and the third, a neutral phase, halts the movement. A sudden change in supply phase, like a fault in the electrical circuit, could lead to such an incident," he said, adding that Monday's malfunction is being probed. The escalator is expected to be in working condition on Wednesday.

Another official said escalators are maintained along with a team from the manufacturers. This is also the first time that escalators are being used on such a large scale in public spaces, open to overload and misuse.

"Malls and offices are privately maintained and closely monitored. Metro station escalators work in a controlled environment as their stations have restricted access. The problem with railway stations is that there is no restricted access and general crowds from beggars to druggies may use it. Railways is coming up with a plan to have guards to monitor the escalators," he added.

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