Mumbai: Railway ghat sections to be manned with hotline phones

Updated: Sep 15, 2019, 19:23 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar |

The Mumbai division has already removed more than 700 boulders from vulnerable spots and has also set up a special type of Canadian fence

This image has been used for representational purposes only
This image has been used for representational purposes only

After continuous landslides, ghat railway sections of Khandala and Igatpuri has now decided to man 19 vulnerable locations with hotline phones. "There will be railwaymen standing with portable control room-linked hotline phones to inform directly to control about any landslide or boulder fall so that trains could be stopped well in advance and traffic management is taken up. This is in addition to live-feed CCTVs.

Falling of boulders on rail tracks has been a major issue this year and the CR has put in sturdy mechanism in place to avert it. The challenge is to avoid mishaps and these indicators will help in alerting approaching trains. The Mumbai division has already removed more than 700 boulders from vulnerable spots and has also set up a special type of Canadian fence within a radius of 650 metres of these spots to prevent boulders from falling on the tracks. He elaborated that about 60 additional CCTV cameras have been provided at vulnerable locations in addition to 24 hours continuous patrolling to keep a vigil on vulnerable locations. In addition to this, tunnel portal extension has been done at four tunnels and rock bolting was done of 750 metre square of boulders.

Central Railway has been dealing with this problem of boulders falling on tracks since Day 1 but they never cancelled so many trains to manage the situation. According to a notice issued by CR on the initiation of passenger rail service on the ghat section in 1864, the entire stretch was divided into 13 sections with three watchmen deputed for each. Apart from this, one person would patrol the area on foot. With similar problems faced during the monsoon, given the limited technology, the railways used to stop the movement of trains at night back then in the 19th century.

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