Frequent disruptions on the harbour line continued on Wednesday when a broken pantograph brought services to a halt for nearly two hours.
More than 45 suburban services between Mankhurd and CST were cancelled or delayed.
The breakdown took place at 4.50am on platform 8 of Kurla station when two pantographs on a CST-bound Panvel local got entangled with an overhead wire and broke.
There was chaos on harbour line platforms after the cancelled trains left commuters stranded. Passengers were forced to squeeze into already-crowded trains during the morning peak hours. “There was hardly enough room to breathe, even though I was travelling on the footboard. I just about managed to catch a CST-bound local at Mankhurd station and had to hang out of it all the way till Kurla,” said Sanjay Sawant, a resident of Mankhurd.
To ease commuter woes, the BEST arranged 26 extra buses from Navi Mumbai towards the city. A senior railway official claimed they had arranged for special services between Mankhurd and Panvel.
Services resumed at 6.50am after the Railways moved the damaged local to the Kurla carshed. “The services during the morning peak hours ran late by 20 to 25 minutes. About 45 services on the line were cancelled till 4pm,” said AK Singh, public relations officer, railways.
This is the third time in the last 10 days that a pantograph — a structure that transmits power from the overhead wires to the train — has got entangled and broken on the suburban section of Central railway. On January 20, the pantographs of two locals were damaged between Mankhurd and Vashi stations. A similar incident took place between Thane and Airoli on January 28.
Railway officials said poor maintenance of rakes and overhead equipment, for which the electrical department is responsible, is to blame for the repeated breakdowns.