A day after heat wave conditions were reported in and around Mumbai, a portion of railway tracks between Badlapur and Ambernath stations were seen to be bent on Tuesday due to high temperatures, railway officials said. Railway traffic was affected for around 30 minutes as the tracks were repaired.
As a temporary measure, the railway tracks were covered with leaves in order to cool them down.
“Tracks tend to expand due to excessive heat,” a senior railway official said.
On Tuesday, Thane recorded a temperature of 36.5 degrees Celsius, due to which the temperature of the iron in the tracks could have touched 40 degrees, officials said. They added that a lack of sufficient ballast near the tracks could also have caused them to expand.
“We have asked the respective section controllers to conduct a survey of such tracks and take corrective action,” the official added.
The delay due to repairs affected north-bound commuters after office hours. Rakesh Ahluwalia, an Ambernath resident, said, “The delay caused excessive rush in trains. During the off-peak-hour, at 3 pm, my train was very crowded,” he added.
“At a time when we talk about inducting bullet trains into the system, the conditions of tracks are deteriorating. Putting leaves on tracks to cool them down is a laughable act. The Railways should maintain their assets well,” said Subhash Gupta, an activist.