Train services collapsed at Thane station on Friday, after irate commuters went on a rampage and attacked the motorman of a CST-bound local train at Diva.
What irked the commuters was a glitch on a Badlapur-CST local between Thakurli and Dombivli, which disrupted the services. Angry, the commuters held a rail roko protest at Diva station. The police had to resort to a mild lathi charge to get the railway tracks cleared.
The chaos, however, left thousands of office-goers stranded at Thane station during morning peak hours. Shambhubhai Patrawala, 69, reached Thane station at 9am, to board a train for CST. “I waited at the platform for more than three hours, but not a single train came. The railway officials, too, were not providing any information in Thane. When we approached them, they said they were awaiting orders from their seniors.”
Riten Gala, 49, said, “The incident took place in Diva. The railway officials could have kept the Thane-CST trains running. But they discontinued these services as well, and sent the trains to the car-shed. They announced a train every half-an-hour, but the trains did not leave the station in time.”
Anand Shukla, another commuter, said, “I was stranded on my way to Diva for work in the morning. If the trains aren’t running, why were they selling tickets? They can’t mislead the commuters.”
Thane is one of the busiest stations in the central suburbs, with a footfall of 6.8 lakh passengers daily. Every day, 47 long-distance trains and 601 local trains operate from the station.
Thane station master SB Mhaider said, “We tried our best to keep the passengers updated, through regular announcements. The train services resumed around 12.30pm for CST-bound trains and 1.45pm for Kalyan-bound trains at Thane station. We had to send a few trains to the car shed.”
Passengers cheered loudly when the first train from CST rolled into Thane station, at 1.45pm. Regular train services resumed around 3pm from Thane.