Rare sight: half empty trains on a week day

Sep 05, 2012, 07:15 IST | Shashank Rao and Vedika Chaubey

Railway stations in the city wore an almost deserted look yesterday, after heavy rains continued to lash the city and disrupt rail services for a second day. Services on the Central Railway (CR) line were severely disrupted, though services on the Western Railway (WR) fared better.

Sources in the CR claim that though there are no official figures, over half the total number of regular commuters stayed away. Around 37 lakh people commute on the CR suburban line coming all the way from Kasara and Karjat till CST each day. “At least 40 per cent of the total commuters seem to have not turned up due to monsoon,” said a senior CR official on condition of anonymity.

heavy rains battered the city
Better safe than sorry: Most Mumbaikars chose to stay at home as heavy rains battered the city for a second day yesterday. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Water on tracks
Suburban commuters faced much inconvenience beyond Kalyan and further north in the morning hours yesterday. Earlier in the day, the Ulhas river near Badlapur overflowed onto the tracks making the train commute difficult. This triggered an immediate reduction in the number of services on the tracks with several cancellations and delayed trains.

“At least 150 services were cancelled till the evening. The problem was felt mainly in the northern end and so there was bunching of trains towards CST as well,” said AK Singh, PRO, CR.

Sources added that they also had to clamp down points on the tracks to avoid derailing while changing lines.

Trains on the main line were running nearly an hour late in the morning hours, which finally came down to 20 minutes by the evening. This feat was achieved by cancelling some trains.

Skipped work
“The heavy rains continued even on Tuesday and made people jittery about leaving their houses, resulting in many staying away from office or postponing work,” said another official.

Renu Shukla, family court advocate, said, “I had trouble reaching home on Monday and didn’t want to face the same on Tuesday, so I postponed work.”

Meanwhile, trains were running late by around 10 minutes on the western line, but sources claim that the water was high enough at some points to enter the coaches. 

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