Lakhs of suburban commuters traveling on the Central Railway (CR) had a harrowing time on Thursday as two wheels of a locomotive trolley of the 11301 Udyan Express were derailed at 8.14am.
The incident occurred on the crossover point (a pair of switches that connects two parallel rail tracks, allowing a train on one track to cross over to the other) of platform number 17 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). The train’s loco-pilot had been allegedly been speeding at the crossover point, the speed limit of which has been reduced from 15kmph to 10 kmph after the derailment.
Suburban train morning peak hour services were affected as more than 75 suburban services were reported to be cancelled and 200 trains were delayed due to the incident.
About 40 long-distance trains were delayed by up to two and a half hours. A CR press release said 70 trains were cancelled and rest were running late by 20-30 minutes.
All fast trains between the CST and Byculla stations were diverted to the slow corridor for two hours, disrupting slow trains.
The railways resumed services on the fast corridor at 10:15, nearly two hours later. Passengers were not informed.
Commuters complained that trains were delayed by over 40 minutes. The CR public relations team confirmed the derailment through a press release at 10.57, three hours after it occurred.
“The Railways should have informed us through social networking sites or the media so that a rush could have been avoided. There was a stampede-like situation at the station, which could have jeopardised our safety,” said Shruti Desai, a Mulund resident.