A two-hour special maintenance block, coupled with engine failure of Godan Express at Titwala, gave a tough time to Central Railway (CR) suburban commuters on Saturday as over 20 trains were cancelled and many others were late by 30 minutes.
CR imposed a special maintenance block on Saturday between 9.30-11.30am on the fast corridor from Thane to Kalyan and the services were diverted to the slow corridor.
Though the block took place in the morning, services were late and trains were cancelled till afternoon, complained commuters. Engine failure of Godan Express at Titwala at 4.15pm added to the problems.
“The block was announced till 11.30am but till late afternoon the trains were running late or were cancelled. The indicators at CST mainline were not working. The Titwala-bound slow local scheduled at 2.09pm arrived after 2.30pm,” said Shamal Desai, a Thane resident.
While CR claimed that they would cancel only 18 services, the commuters complained that more numbers of trains were cancelled. “Till late afternoon, the services were not streamlined and after that there was engine failure, which further affected the services. The railway officials need to be more organised if they undertake special blocks,” said Rohini Pillai, a Dombivali resident.
The commuter activists claimed simply imposing of maintenance block will not improve the services. “The CR is undertaking special blocks for track, signal-telecom and overhead equipment (OHE) maintenance, but what about the disruptions occurring from their engine failures? Who should be held accountable?” said Aniket Ghamandi, a commuter activist.
Also, a mega block will be imposed on Sunday also between Kalyan-Thane fast lines from 11am to 3.30pm. During this period, all fast trains leaving Kalyan will be diverted on the slow line. On the harbour line, there will be a block between Kurla to Vashi from 11am to 3pm. During this period all harbour line services between CST and Panvel will remain suspended.
Narendra Patil, chief public relation officer (CPRO), CR, said, “We cancelled some maintenance blocks during the festive season. This additional block was undertaken to ensure that the pending maintenance work is completed.”
Mega blocks on Sunday
* On Sunday, a mega block will be taken on Kalyan-Thane fast corridor from 11am to 3.30pm. All fast trains leaving Kalyan will be diverted to the slow line and the train services will be 15 minutes behind schedule
* On harbour line, the block is imposed from Kurla to Vashi on both the lines from 11am to 3pm. During this period all harbour line services between CST and Panvel will remain suspended
* The Harbour line passengers are also permitted to travel via trans-harbour/mainline from 10am to 4pm.