After a week of delays, signal failures and other mishaps, Central Railway’s (CR) suburban services are slowly returning to normalcy.
On Thursday, services were running 15-20 minutes late during the morning peak-hour. However, the administration claimed trains were running on time in the evening.
During the morning peak-hour, services were disrupted after an angry crowd entered the Asangaon stationmaster’s cabin around 5.10am. Also, a signal failure was reported at Thane around 7.30am, which resulted in heavy rush in trains and station platforms.
CR authorities claimed that the services were normal since noon and only eight services had been cancelled till 2pm.
After seven days of struggle, commuters were relieved. “The trains were running late in the morning, but the situation wasn’t as bad as it has been over the past few days,” said S Jagdale, a media person and Kalwa resident. “However, trains continue to take a long time to cross from Kopari bridge to Thane creek bridge,” he added.
The CR services have been thrown out of gear since last week due to the Thane remodelling work, which is still incomplete.
According to railway and GRP sources, early on Thursday morning a group of about 50 passengers were demanding that the CST-bound Amravati Express be stopped as the Kasara local was running 13 minutes late. But, when the train didn’t stop at Asangaon station, angry passengers entered station master Mathur Kumar’s cabin, manhandled him and damaged the property.
“After this all stationmasters on the north-east section from Kalyan to Kasara stopped work, demanding security,” said Venu Nair, union leader, adding that they had demanded that the
CR administration provide
adequate security to railway employees in case of any major disturbance.
Sources said a few outstation trains were stuck after the stationmasters stopped work and services resumed only around 6.30am. But, a signal problem once again delayed service for about 15 minutes near Thane.
Fearing more attacks, the railway administration appealed to commuters to maintain patience. “Although their anger is understandable, we appeal to them not to harm railway staffers, who are working under stress to keep the city’s lifeline running,” said VA Malegaonkar, chief PRO, CR.