Just like most Mumbaiites, railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday took a train to CST to avoid getting late for his appointment with chief minister Devendra Fadanvis at Mantralaya.
After attending a function to lay the foundation stone of a new foot overbridge at Currey Road station, Prabhu boarded a CST-bound Kalyan train around 1.05pm. Within 15 minutes, he reached CST, where he had lunch with railway officials.
Top railway officials, including CR general manager SK Sood, accompanied the minister in the crowded train. It is learnt that an aged commuter gave him an invitation card for a marriage in his family, which Prabhu accepted with a smile.
Although Prabhu laid the foundation stone of the FOB using remote control while he was in the centenary celebration function of Matunga workshop, he stopped at the station on his way to CST, on the insistence of Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant. As his schedule was getting disrupted, Prabhu decided to ditch the car and take a train to reach CST. He travelled in a first class compartment of the train and also interacted with commuters.
A senior railway official said it was Prabhu’s second suburban journey after taking charge as the railway minister. Last year, he had travelled to Mumbai Central from Dadar for the launch of a mobile ticketing system for the suburban section.
Prabhu, who belongs to the city, used to often travel by suburban trains before entering politics. Aware of the plight of more than 75 lakh suburban commuters, he suggested the authorities stagger office timetable.
Meanwhile, commuter activists said that lot of things have changed since Prabhu last travelled on suburban trains in the 1980s.