The Central Railway (CR) train services were disrupted for the sixth consecutive day on Wednesday, and there seems to be no respite for about 38 lakh daily commuters on the line. In fact, they should be prepared for more trouble in the next few days.
On Wednesday, a delay in reopening of platform number 1 and signal failure at platform no 4 at Thane station affected peak-hour services. As many as 21 suburban services were cancelled till 4.30pm. Morning services were delayed by over 45 minutes.
“The CST-bound train scheduled to arrive at Thane at 9.35am came at 12.40pm. Delay of a few minutes is acceptable, but three hours can’t be tolerated,” said Meera Khare, 36, an Ulhasnagar resident.
Bhushan Patil, 30, a Kalyan resident, said the Kalyan-CST fast train was stuck between Kalwa and Mumbra for over an hour. “The train that was supposed to reach Dadar at 8.50am was at Kalwa till 9.30am,” said Patil, adding, “For the past week, I leave home early each morning hoping to reach office in time, but such delays spoil my schedule,” Patil added.
Sources said the major work of commissioning of new route relay interlocking (RRI) has been completed, and the pending extension of platform number 5 and 6 at Thane would be taken up in the next two months.
“The entire work will take at least three months to be completed. So, minor hiccups would arise during the period,” said a senior CR official requesting anonymity, as he is not allowed to speak to the media.
However, V Malegaonkar, chief public relation officer, CR, said, “The remaining work of the Thane yard remodelling will be carried out during corridor blocks in the night after the operations have stopped. It will ensure that services remain unaffected.”
Explaining the reason for the delay on Wednesday, Malegaonkar said, “Normally, our services start at 4am, but a two-hour delay in commissioning platform number 1 affected the morning peak-hour services. Hence, the services that were supposed to arrive at platform number 1 were diverted to platforms 2 and 3, resulting in bunching of trains.”