How odd objects like purses, TV dish, mobile earphones, clothes, delay Mumbai local trains

Updated: Oct 10, 2019, 19:19 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Since January 2019, the suburban services of CR have been delayed over 600 times with 250 cancellations in 20 such cases.

A red-brown umbrella that got entangled into the overhead wires near Chunabhatti station stopped harbour line trains for over 20 minutes in July 2019. Picture Courtesy/ Rajendra B. Aklekar
A red-brown umbrella that got entangled into the overhead wires near Chunabhatti station stopped harbour line trains for over 20 minutes in July 2019. Picture Courtesy/ Rajendra B. Aklekar

A day after a pantograph of a train at Vashi railway station caught fire after a purse was flung on it, records show the Central Railway (CR) has been battling with similar incidents since the start of this year. It involved belts, mobile earphone wires, bags, TV dishes, clothes among other things. The pantograph on the roof of a train collects power through contact with an overhead line.

Train-Objects

Since January 2019, the suburban services of CR have been delayed over 600 times with 250 cancellations in 20 such cases. "It is a problem when the train passes through a dense city. With houses near the railway tracks, many times, a lot of things fall on the overhead wires leading to disruption of services," a senior CR official said, on condition of anonymity.

He said these disruptions also cause a delay in the mainline services, as it is difficult to bring back trains on the timetable once they lose track.

The official said that every time something falls on the pantograph, an alarm in the control room goes off,  identifying the section. "Once done, the power to that particular section needs to be shut off. The trains around are stopped and a team has to physically go there and remove the obstacles," the official said.  

He added that if the incident takes place at a railway station, it takes over 20 minutes to restore services, but if it happens between two stations, the team takes time to reach the spot and then resolve the issue. During this time, all trains in that particular line remain halted, the official said.

Train-Objects-B

On Wednesday, the fire in the pantograph led to the enclosed station structure getting filled with smoke, causing chaos and panic among commuters. The incident occurred in the 9.23 am CSMT-Panvel train, which was later cancelled and sent to the Sanpada car shed.

Railway officials said the harbour line has reported most of these incidents, as compared to the two other lines.

Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer, CR, said, "The railways had put up grills on all bridges to avoid such incidents and appealed to commuters to stay away from the wires."

Twenty incidents: What, When, Where

  1. Mumbra-Thane, Jan 3, Cable
  2. Sandhurst Road-Chinchpokli, Feb 5, Cloth
  3. Thakurli, Feb 13,  Cable
  4. Sion-Vidyavihar, Feb 25, Metal strip
  5. Thakurli, April 16, Cable
  6. Sandhurst Road Harbour, June 29, Unidentified material
  7. Matunga Aug 3, Unidentified material
  8. Kanjurmarg-Mulund, Aug 4, Umbrella
  9. Airoli, Aug 5, Cloth
  10. Sandhurst Road, Aug 7, Cloth
  11. Asangaon, Aug 31, Metal wire
  12. Matunga, Sept 10, Cloth
  13. Sandhurst Road, May 21, Cloth
  14. Chinchpokli, May 27, Unidentified material
  15. Kalyan, June 1, Cable
  16. Ambernath, June 22, Cloth
  17. Kharghar-June 29, Unidentified material
  18. Sion-Cloth
  19. Matunga-Cloth
  20. Thane-Cloth

Besides these, there have been incidents which have not had a major impact on services where. TV dish had fallen on the wires, a belt hanging, bird hits and other equipment falling on the wires.

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