More than 40 lakh commuters will have to prepare for more delays and cancellations of suburban services till Central Railway (CR) sorts out certain issues on Thane-Kalyan stretch.
According to CR officials, they need to switch to the 25,000-volt alternate current power supply system from the existing 1,500-volt direct current system. In addition, CR also has to improve tracks beyond Thane to enable trains to safely run faster.
An official said that CR has missed power conversion deadline of August 2014 and hence continued to face several operational limitations.
On November 15, CR revised the suburban timetable, reducing the travelling time of all fast trains up to Kalyan and beyond by between two-seven minutes. However, passengers claim that trains have been running 10-30 minutes late in the week since the timetable came into effect.
Officials of CR’s Mumbai division claim that problems on the Thane-Kalyan stretch, not the new timetable, are responsible for the disruptions in suburban services.
Narendra Patil, chief public relations officer of CR said, “It’s (delays) not due to the timetable. There were arrears in maintenance due to cancellation of mega blocks during festivals and now those works are being carried out.”
A senior official, who is not authorised to speak to the media, said that trains often get delayed by at least four-five minutes on the stretch due to speed restrictions. “When a train loses five minutes during peak hours, it’s impossible to make up the time and it further affects the entire schedule,” the official said.
CR officials said they are facing maximum difficulties at Kalyan, where nearly 950 trains run towards CST, Kasara and Karjat daily. “There is heavy traffic at Kalyan,” said the official, pointing out that the speed limit had been reduced from 25kmph to 15kmph after recent derailments on the line.
Dangling wire causes 25-minute delay
Central Railway (CR) suburban services were delayed for the third time this week, as a CST-bound train was stuck for around 25 minutes on the fast corridor between Sion and Matunga on Friday afternoon.
The train was stationary between 12.25pm and 12.50pm after a motorman noticed the overhead equipment (OHE) wire dangling and called the concerned officials to
“As a precautionary measure, the train was halted. The wire would have caused a bigger disruption had it got entangled with the train. During this period, the fast trains were diverted on slow lines,” said Narendra Patil, CR’s chief public relation officer.
Suburban services on the line were affected, with trains running five to 10 minutes behind schedule till the evening.
CR services had witnessed disruptions on Wednesday and Monday as well, with 10-20 minute delays for parts the day.