Heavy rain coupled with mega blocks on both the Central and Western Railway managed to give rail commuters a hard time on Sunday.
The city has been witnessing incessant rains since Saturday. Moreover, the maintenance blocks carried out by the rail authorities for nearly five hours resulted in the cancellation and diversion of several trains. Also, the trains continued to run late by over 15 minutes.
The Central Railway (CR) carried out a mega block on the fast corridor between Mulund and Matunga stations from 11am to 4pm. Consequently, there were limited train services with most of them being diverted on the slow lines. The halting of trains at all the stations along with the slow movement, left the commuters hassled.
Of the 1,210 services of Western Railway (WR) and 1,573 services on CR, the authorities cancelled nearly 30%, which is a normal practice.
As part of the work, heavy-duty machines carried out maintenance operations such as removing the old tracks, concrete and wooden sleepers, repairing the overhead cables and the signalling system. “There was no problem in services due to the rain,” said V Malegaonkar, chief public relations officer (PRO), CR. The CR officials claimed that they have placed over 30 water pumps at strategic locations to flush out the water, preventing waterlogging on the tracks.
The mega block between Vashi and Belapur affected the Harbour route services considerably. As a result, people had to travel using either the state transport or private vehicles. No trains plied to and from Panvel during the block period. “The Mumbai-Goa highway was choked with road traffic,” said Chandrakant Mokal, president, All India Passengers Association. However, the railway officials claimed that special locals were run on the CST-Vashi, Belapur-Panvel and Thane-Nerul sections during the block period.
The block between Santacruz and Goregaon stations on the slow corridor from 10.35am to 3.35pm on Sunday affected the (WR) train services. During this time, the fast and slow trains were run on the fast lines. “There was no problem in services due to rain,” said N David, PRO, WR.