MUMBAI: A rail fracture near Wadala Road station disrupted Central Railway's harbour line services during the morning rush hour. In all, 36 services were cancelled.
The fracture was spotted by the motorman of a Vashi-bound local after 8.45am. immediately, a caution order was issued to motormen, limiting train speeds to 10 kmph in the stretch containing the affected rail.
A CR spokesperson said, "A special block of track had to be taken to the spot to rectify the fault. Trains began running at normal speed from 11.15am onwards."
During the affected period, the Kurla, Wadala and Sewri stations became overcrowded.
Chembur resident Rajesh Nambiar said, "There was total chaos at the stations because of train delays during the morning. It took me 90 minutes to reach CST, instead of the usual 40 minutes."
Some commuters took the road to Kurla or Dadar to catch main line trains. Vashi-resident Paramjit Sandhu said, "My train did not move for than 25 minutes after crossing Chunabhatti station. I, along with a few commuters, walked back to the station and boarded a train in the down direction to go back and take a main-line train."
Chembur-resident Priya Sen said, "I have decided to stop travelling by harbour line as this is the second time I got stuck due to some fault in the network. Instead of boarding a train from Chembur, I would rather take a bus to Kurla to board a main-line train."
A CR official said that even a minor failure on the harbour line can aggravate problems "because of the constraints in the system". "Unlike Western Railway or CR's main line, that have four lines, harbour has only two corridors. In case of a disruption, trains cannot be diverted, as is done in WR or CR, where trains switch to fast or slow corridors."
However, commuters are not convinced with the explanation. Sharad Kamble, a commuter from Govandi said, "It means that intensive maintenance is the need of the hours. Railways should also make use of modern technology to identify and replace the faults before it can be a cause of failure."
However, Railway official said, "Regular check are undertaken during the mega blocks .However, nobody can 100 per cent anticipate such incidents in advance. Rail fractures are common the railway network across the country."
Source - Times of India