Suburban services in Mumbai already crippled because of a mega block were dealt a double whammy on Sunday, with technical glitches further disrupting train schedules on the central line.
Trains were delayed or cancelled on all three suburban corridors, leaving commuters fuming. The mega block at the western line was imposed from 10.35am to 3.35pm, for maintenance work on the fast line between Santacruz and Goregaon. As a result, fast trains were diverted on the slow corridor, leading to 20 to 30-minute delays. Passengers complained trains were moving at a snail’s pace and were taking more time than usual to cover the distance between two stations.
“I took a fast train from Borivli to reach Lower Parel, but it was crawling till it reached Bandra,” said Ritesh Sawala, a Borivli resident, adding trains were running 20 minutes late and were packed.
The situation on the central line was little better, with a mega block on the fast corridor between Thane and Kalyan stations from 10am to 3pm. To make matters worse, the engine of a Karjat-bound goods train developed a snag between Badlapur and Vangani stations, resulting in services getting stranded for about an hour around noon. At the Thane station, the Nagarcoil Express was stalled for over an-hour-and-a-half around 1.30pm owing to engine trouble.
On the harbour line, the block was imposed between Nerul and Mankhurd stations, from 11am to 2.45pm. Railway services at Navi Mumbai were suspended for four hours owing to the block, forcing passengers to switch to costlier and time-taking modes of transport. “As most southbound buses were crowded, my friend and I had to take a share taxi from Vashi highway to reach Chembur,” said Sudesh Phalake, a Navi Mumbai resident.
While the CR spokesperson confirmed technical snags disrupted services, WR said apart from the mega block, trains were on time. “There were no reasons for delay in services other than the five-hour long block,” said the WR spokesperson.
“Continuous announcements were made to keep passengers informed about the disruptions,” said AK Singh, public relations officer, CR.