More than 200 railway personnel — from gangmen to engineers to top officials — have been working round the clock to restore the signalling and crossing point operations that were affected due to a fire at Kurla signal cabin on Tuesday night.
While gangmen are seen rushing with cables, digging along the tracks, the engineering staff is busy fixing equipment with supervisors shouting out instructions. Many of them haven’t gone home to ensure that they finish the restoration work before the 72-hour deadline.
“We have been here for the past two days. We did not even change out clothes, just took small breaks for food and sleep,” said an engineer who didn’t wish to be named.
The Central Railway authorities say the restoration work is a complicated task.
“Our main work is to re-lay the damaged cable and replace the relay bank. It is more complicated at Kurla as it handles a number of lines including the main lines and those of Kurla yard,” said an officer involved in the restoration work.
Inside the three-storey signal cabin, the tension is palpable as the signalling and telecom department staffers and officials are frantically installing electrical cables and panel parts.
In the route relay interlocking room on the second floor, and train operation panel room on the floor above, engineers are busy testing signals while communicating with field staffers.
Since Wednesday, they have managed to achieve half of their target by restoring three of the six main suburban lines.
This means that the harbour line and down-slow line are now functional, albeit with a few hiccups.
“We are targeting to run 95% of the services on Friday,” said Vidhyadhar Malegaokar, chief public relations officer, Central Railway.
Kurla cabin is the one of the busiest railway cabin in Asia and is also the heart of the Central Railway’s operations. On daily basis, it handles around 1,200 suburban services, along with long distance passenger trains and goods trains as well.