This monsoon, commuters travelling on the western line can expect services to run slow on the stretch between Charni Road and Elphinstone Road stations during a downpour.
Reason: The Western Railway (WR) has lowered the tracks along these two stations — both low-lying areas — to enable the conversion of 1,500-volt direct current to 25,000-volt alternating current that will make trains run faster using less electricity.
While the tracks were lowered along Charni Road station (towards Borivli station) by around 20cm last week, the tracks along a 600-m stretch near Elphinstone Road station were lowered in February.
Defending the work, S Chandrayan , chief public relations officer, WR, said: "The tracks have been marginally lowered so, there is no scope of waterlogging."
Initially WR officials had planned to lift Sandhurst bridge at Charni Road to complete the power conversion. The required distance between the bridge and the tracks is more than 4.74 metres.
The officials had proposed to place pneumatic jacks between the girder and pillars of the 2,400-tonne road overbridge and raise it using a remote control. But it did not work and they had to lower the tracks to facilitate the conversion.
Sources said WR would have to enforce a 40-hour block to raise the height of the Sandhurst bridge, which was built in 1921, resulting in cancellation of more than 40% of services.
Two years ago, they had increased the level of tracks at Elphinstone Road station because it was found that the tracks would get submerged in water during rains. Now, the level of tracks along Parel station on the central line and Elphinstone Road stations on the western line is almost on a par.
The railway officials will place pumps to drain out excess water at these locations during monsoon.