The ride home for commuters on the western line got delayed on Friday evening after a new-age violet-and-white train derailed between Kandivli and Borivli stations, delaying peak-hour services by more than 20 minutes.
Twenty trains had to be cancelled. Nobody was hurt.
The incident occurred at 4.15 pm when two wheels of a ladies’ coach of a 12-coach Bhayander-Dadar fast train jumped off the tracks a few metres away from Poisar subway near Kandivli station. This is the second time in three months that a new local train has been derailed.
Sources in the Western Railway present at the site said the quantity of ballasts (stones on tracks) below the sleepers holding the tracks on this stretch was low.
“Ballasts are important for stabilising the tracks and keeping them even. We have been replacing the ballasts below the tracks on this stretch since October 20 and have asked motormen to restrict speed to 20 kmph,” a Western Railway official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Gangmen and were ordered to fill the track with ballasts and raise its height. By then, trains had begun queuing up for a green signal. “All fast trains going towards Churchgate were diverted to the slow line and trains were running 10 minutes late,” said S Chandrayan, chief public relations officer of the Western Railway.
Two hours after the incident, suburban and long-distance trains started getting clearances to run. This derailment occurred on a straight stretch of track, which railway officials believe can happen if there are some problems with the tracks.
The Western Railway has already placed a safety check rail, an additional piece of track, at crossovers in Mahim, Goregaon and Mumbai Central to enable new-age trains to navigate crossovers smoothly.
Some railway officials said although the wheels of the new train take the turn, the body finds it difficult to negotiate the curve causing friction.
Others, however, believe sufficient tests on tracks and simulation exercises were carried out before the suburban trains were introduced in Mumbai.
The WR has called for a jumbo block between Goregaon and Borivli from 10.35am to 3.35pm on October 24 to carry out maintenance work along the fast corridor.