Thousands of rail commuters travelling by train from Navi Mumbai towards the city were left stranded for nearly 30 minutes on Wednesday morning. The delay was because of a fracture or crack that was found on the tracks between Chembur and Tilak Nagar.
The trains were asked to halt between the two stations around 9.45am when a gangman (a worker who checks the tracks) found the fracture.
According to sources, a Panvel-Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus local was moving towards Tilak Nagar. The signal had turned red and it did not change for a long time even though the line was clear, sources added. This is when the gangman went to the spot and found the fracture. When a rail fracture occurs, the signal turns red because the track circuit connected to the signaling system gets disconnected.
“A derailment would have occurred only if trains were moving at high speeds,” said a Central Railway (CR) official on condition of anonymity.
As officials and workers rushed to the spot, services going towards Mumbai were halted. The problem was rectified around 10.10am. The workers welded the fractured portion and made temporary arrangements to ensure that services would run.
More than eight trains were stuck. The problem had a cascading effect on overall services causing trains going towards Vashi and Panvel to be delayed.
“Trains were running late by 25 minutes because of this problem. However, no trains were cancelled,” said AK Singh, spokesperson, Central Railway.
A speed restriction of 15 kmph or less has been levied for trains on this section so that the track does not give way. The affected portion of the track will now be replaced with a new one during one of the mega blocks.