A torrid week for local train commuters ended on a bad note on Sunday, with routine maintenance work throwing the suburban railway network out of gear.
Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) scheduled mega blocks on all three corridors, resulting in trains being delayed, diverted or cancelled.
The crawling pace at which the trains moved further angered commuters. The worst-affected were commuters on the main CR line, where trains stopped at regular intervals, especially between Kalyan and Thane.
“My train was very slow. I caught the train from Ambernath at 12.45pm and it took almost three hours to reach Dadar,” said Sujata Datye, a nurse at a private hospital.
Lack of information also irked passengers. “One can understand disruption of trains, but can’t the railway authorities make proper announcements?” rued Rajesh Jagtap, a Nerul resident, adding that there was chaos at Dombivli station when a fast train was cancelled before the block came into effect.
Harried commuters on the harbour line resorted to road transport, resulting in crowded BEST buses and refusals by taxis and autos in the suburbs.
Commuters were already on edge after rail fractures, engine failures and mishaps had caused frequent disruptions on the CR line over the past two weeks.
Apart from the regular mega block, there was a five-and-a-half hour-long block on Western Railway at Kelwe yard for the launching of a girder. This caused the cancellation of several suburban and MEMU (Main line EMU) services between Virar and Dahanu stations, besides delaying several other trains.
Commuters also complained that trains took long time to cover Andheri-Borivali stretch.
“A block of more than five hours at Kelwe yard had some repercussions on the suburban services,” said Gajanan Mahatpurkar, WR spokesperson.
Naredra Patil, chief public relations officer, said there was no problem apart from bunching of trains.