Computers continued to face hardships on the Central Railway (CR) on Saturday with train services getting delayed by 20 minutes. Railway officials have assured that punctuality of services would be restored before offices across the city resume on Monday morning. Quite a few rakes are not yet back in service after Tuesday’s heavy rain and floods. Commuters complained about overcrowding on platforms and packed trains on Friday and Saturday.
Many who stepped out of home to celebrate Eid on Saturday faced long delays. “It was a long wait to reach Byculla station from Thane station as I had to wait for at least thirty minutes to get a train. After skipping two train services which were too overcrowded, I somehow boarded one. The return train service equally was slow and crowded. Railways should plan their schedules, especially during holidays,” Reema Qureshi, a commuter on CR, said.
According to senior CR officials, 32 rakes were affected on Tuesday when Mumbai witnessed heavy rainfall. Till Friday, 22 rakes were back in service while the remaining ten required further maintenance.
On an average, CR runs 1,660 services with 120 rakes per day. “We are working day in and out to ensure that all 120 rakes are brought into service by Monday so that commuters do not witness any delay. Due to heavy rains on Tuesday, much water had seeped inside the wiring of around 32 operational rakes. Each of the twelve coaches of the rake is being checked with care to ensure that water is drained out and they are deemed fit for service,” a senior railway official said.
After the derailment of nine coaches of the Mumbai-Nagpur Duronto Express on Tuesday, the first train from Asangaon left only at 7.54 am on Saturday. Officials said trains plied at a speed of 10 kmph on Saturday on the 300 meter stretch between the two stations on the south bound line, as a precautionary measure.
“Being a public holiday, we ran enough rakes to cater to the crowd for the day. However, the caution order decreased the speed of rakes on the up line which delayed services. We are trying to increase the speed to 30 kmph and more from Sunday if conditions are suitable,” a senior CR official said.
Commuters had staged a rail roko near Asangaon station on Friday to protest the absence of train services between Vasind and Asangaon. Six long distance trains were also cancelled.
“There is no Sunday mega block on CR suburban section this week. Services will be normalised as most marooned rakes will be pressed into service after repairs by Saturday evening,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief Public Relations Officer of CR.
Railway officials added that they are in talks with the BMC for arranging better drainage facilities . “Our team is working on cleaning the muck accumulated on tracks due to overflow of water from roads on to the tracks due to heavy rains. This will ensure no clogging of drains during rains,” said A K Gupta, General Manager of WR. “We have identified areas where there was water-logging to the largest extent on tracks this week and talks are on with the BMC to find solutions for this,” he added.