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Commuters forced to abandon train after ‘freak technical failure’

Trains were delayed, no announcements were made which led to chaos.

| Mumbai | Published: September 5, 2015 1:08:08 am

COMMUTERS of the Harbour line of Central Railway (CR) were Friday forced to abandon a Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus-bound local train at Chunabhatti railway station and walk on the tracks at approximately 7.54 am after a rare “technical failure”.

As a result, trains got delayed in the morning peak hours. The absence of announcements on the platforms added to the chaos, leaving commuters stranded, without information.

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“A train from Vashi was coming to CST when a suspension bracket below the coach sheared out, breaking the spring below the train. The material cut off and caused damage to the spring which broke down from the rake at Chunabhatti railway station. We had to ask commuters to deboard the local train for restoration work,,” said Amitabh Ojha, divisional railway manager of CR’s Mumbai division. It took over 2 hours to complete the restoration work. The local train was removed from Chunabhatti at approximately 10.14 am with the help of another train that came from Kurla.

“The Harbour line is presently operating on direct current which is why the trains could not be diverted. At least 50 services in the day were affected. The trains were operating between Kurla and Panvel as well as Vashi. It can be considered a ‘freak failure’. The rake was to be sent to the workshop by the end of this month,” added Ojha.

“Rakes are sent to the workshop regularly, but this kind of malfunctioning cannot be observed superficially. It needs minute inspection in car-sheds,” he added.

“No announcements were made by the authorities and we were not aware of the problem. After the train I was on reached Mankhurd station, it started towards Vashi. We were clueless about the situation and simply sat in the local,” said Karvin Gaud, a businessman from Nerul.

“For at least two hours, there were no announcements at Vashi and Panvel stations. We thought it was a routine problem and so kept waiting,” said another commuter.

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