Mumbai: Harbour line to get special vehicles for track inspections

Updated: Jan 29, 2015, 10:31 IST | Shashank Rao |

After a series of track-related breakdowns that threw schedules out of gear, Central Railway are getting a special track-monitoring machine for inspecting rails

After a spate of technical failures on suburban lines of Central Railway (CR), authorities are getting a special track-monitoring machine to inspect the tracks. Recent incidents were observed on November 11 and November 12. CR authorities were also called to Delhi by the Railway ministry, to explain why such breakdowns were occurring at regular intervals.

Recent point failures on the Harbour Line led to train delays, causing a huge crowd at stations and inside the trains. File pic for representation

On November 11, there was a point failure between Parel and Dadar during the evening peak hours, resulting in the diversion of fast trains to the slow tracks. Consequently, stations were chaotic and jam-packed.

Point failure refers to the failure of the mechanism that allows trains to change tracks or lines — as a result of which trains lined up one behind the other.

The next day, there was another point failure on the Harbour line at Kurla at around 5.30 pm. Though this was rectified by 5.40 pm, it led to a collapse of the network, and caused delays and a huge rush at railway stations and inside trains. There have been several such incidents, including derailments, plaguing the CR in the past two months.

CR authorities, including the topmost officials, went to Delhi yesterday to meet the Railway Board. The meeting was convened after MP Kirit Somaiya complained to the then Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda and Railway Board members about the ongoing series of technical failures that has been affecting lakhs of people every day.

“A detailed plan will be presented to the Railway Board on the steps that will be taken for maintenance,” said a CR official, on condition of anonymity. One of them entailed carrying out mega blocks even on Saturdays to address the technical failures. But, past Saturday (November 8), there was an engine failure at Titwala that worsened the condition for commuters.

Authorities will also employ the special track-monitoring vehicle. “We will be operating the track-monitoring special train on Harbour and Trans-Harbour lines, namely between CST-Panvel and Thane-Nerul,” said Narendra Patil, chief PRO, CR.

On the CST-Panvel network, the run was carried out between 1.10 am and 3.35 am today, and will also be done tomorrow. A similar test was conducted yesterday and today between 2.15 am and 3.25 am, on the Thane-Nerul route.

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