Local trains on Western Railway (WR) will now emit fewer carbon pollutants, consume less energy and run faster after the last phase of traction conversion from the existing 1,500 volt Direct Current (DC) to 25,000 volt Alternate Current (AC) was completed on Sunday.
Work on the railway lines, however, left hundreds of commuters stranded due to the six-hour mega block from 10.30am to 4.30pm between Andheri and Churchgate. While some were forced to spend on autorickshaws and taxis, or jostle for space in crowded BEST buses, many others had to wait for services to resume in the evening.
“Even if there was a prior notification, some people are compelled to travel,” said Shankar Kakad, 43, who was stranded at Dadar station for more than two hours. “How can you expect people to pay for taxis from Dadar to Borivali?”
Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR, maintained that people were warned in advance and the conversion is a major advancement for railway services. “There would be a substantial shift from 9-car to 12-car trains and the speed of rakes would increase from 80 km per hour to 100 km per hour,” said Chandrayan.