Around twenty trains on the trans-harbour line had to be cancelled owing to a fracture that developed on the tracks between Kopar Khairane and Ghansoli station on Saturday morning.
A commuter spotted the fracture around 6.50 am and he signalled to a moving train, asking the conductor to halt. Train services were disrupted up to 8.15 am following that.
“The train going from Vashi to Thane would have been derailed, had it crossed the fractured area. The speed limit of local trains is just 40kmph and their compartments are also lightweight. Hence, such trains will never topple even if they go off the track,” said Sudarshan Khurana, station manager, Vashi railway station.
Officials from the engineering department reached the spot quickly and repaired the tracks. However, thousands of commuters from Thane, Vashi, Nerul and Panvel were affected.
“One track on the Vashi-Thane route suffered a fracture, which was repaired within an hour. We think climatic change was the reason behind the fracture. The metal expands during the summer and contracts during the winter As it was cold in the morning, it might have contracted and thus fractured,” said a technician from the railway department.
“When I reached the Vashi railway station around 7.05 am, officials announced that trains to Thane had been cancelled owing to technical issues. I then went to the bus depot by auto and took a bus to Thane. I reached work an hour late,” said Vandana Sharma, 34, a Vashi resident.