As people were trying to cope with the triple blasts that struck Mumbai on July 13, Central Railway (CR) authorities could not contain the heavy rain, forcing scores of commuters to return home.
Services in the morning peak hours were affected by over 45 minutes and nearly 200 services were cancelled, as trains coming down south were unable to move from Kalyan onwards.
The slow corridor on the main line was partially closed from 7am to 1pm. “I had to cancel my appointment in Ghatkopar due to the delay in train schedule,” said Rahul Patel, stranded at Dadar station in the peak hours.
More than 11 trains stood still between Kalwa and Mumbra stations where the water level was as high as the platform. People were forced to get down from the trains onto the tracks in the waist height water and go back home.
“Railway staff available at the site evacuated commuters from these trains and then took trains to maintenance sidings,” said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO, CR.
Services on the fast corridor were hit due to waterlogging and signal failures at Kalyan station. The number of trains too was decreased as trains waiting at Kalwa car shed could not start due to waterlogging. Trains had to be run at a restricted speed of 15 kmph.
Though some indicators were working, they did not display any information. “I didn’t know whether the trains were working or not till the train arrived,” said Prajakta Sharma, a media professional who was at the Sion station at 3.30pm.
Authorities blamed not just the rains but also the hills between Thane-Diva that encompass Kalwa and Mumbra stations. Sources in CR said that water from the hill flowed directly towards Kalwa station, which resulted in waterlogging.
Services on Harbour line towards Panvel and Andheri and the Panvel-Thane trans- harbour line ran according to schedule.
The Western Railway ran late by 10 minutes.