With 192 train cancellations and delayed services, the second day after the signal panel glitch was harrowing for the Central Railway (CR) commuters.
Vidhyadhar Malegaokar, chief public relations officer, CR, said: “Of the 974 scheduled suburban services, till 5 pm, 192 were cancelled.”
Commuters had a tough time because of the cancellations. “I reached Kalyan station at 9am but there was no CST-bound train for more than 90 minutes. Finally, the train arrived around 10.30am. It continued to move slowly ensuring that the two-hour journey between Kalyan and CST took double the time,” said Kalyani Avhad, 21, a Kalyan resident.
Desperate commuters travelled in the opposite direction so that they could find space in the train. “I had to reach Kurla from Ulhasnagar. So, I took an Ambernath-bound train that would return to CST. It took over 2 hours to reach Kurla but we at least had place to sit,” said Nikita Kukreja, 23, a student.
Commuters also complained about the amount being spent on travel. “On Wednesday, travelling from Kurla to Vikhroli by taxi cost me around Rs600. Since the authorities were aware of the problem, they should have come up with a back-up facility to support the system,” said Amit Singh, 24, a dental surgeon from Vikhroli.
The trans-harbour line services too were affected. After waiting for an hour, Unnati Sable from Airoli took a bus to reach Juinagar station where she had to wait for another 45minutes for a CST-bound train. “I have been spending over Rs200 daily to travel from my workplace in Wadala to Airoli, which is too much,” she said.
While the down slow line, harbour line signal and crossing point services were restored, the up slow, down fast and up fast services will be restored by Friday evening, said CR officials.
“Full restoration is expected in the evening. We hope to normalise the services by peak hour. Our aim is to run 95% services on Friday,” said Malegaokar.
The CR will continue to permit passengers with valid tickets or season tickets to travel on the western line and on long-distance trains. Meanwhile, a commuter got injured while boarding an overcrowded train on platform no. 1 of the harbour line at CST. “He lost his balance and fell. He was safely removed,” said a CR official.