Suburban services on the Central Railway (CR) were affected when passengers travelling by a Mumbai-bound passenger train got off on to the tracks at the Badlapur station in protest against the much-delayed train.
The Pandharpur-Mumbai trains which reached the Badlapur station at 6.40am, was four hours late. Already irked by the delay, the passengers were infuriated when the train was made to halt on the loop line between the Badlapur-Vanghani stretch, even as local and other long-distance trains passed by.
The Pandharpur train had been stationary till around 8.05 am, when a Salem-Kalyan goods train passed by. Passengers inside the Pandharpur passenger train alighted and stopped the good train.
“The controller (who schedules the trains) felt that the slow moving goods train should pass-through first, as it was bound for Kalyan,’ said a senior CR official on the condition of anonymity. Looking at the deteriorating situation, the goods train was then diverted to another loop line near Ambernath station, which pacified the passengers. By 9.20am, things were under control, when the train finally left.
However, as a result of the agitation, three local trains and the Pune-Mumbai Sinhgad express was delayed by more than 40 minutes. “We took this step to give precedence to local trains. But we didn’t anticipate that this would irritate the passengers to such an extent,” said Vidyadhar Malegaonkar, chief PRO, CR. The agitation and resulting delay affected suburban service right till the evening, with trains on the fast line also running nearly 10 minutes late.