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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

CR services delayed after bag thrown at train pantograph

Overhead equipment caught fire; officials yet to track down accused

cities Updated: Oct 10, 2019 00:17 IST

Train services on the harbour line of the Central Railway (CR) were disrupted for around 30 minutes, after an unidentified person threw a bag on to the pantograph of a train at Vashi railway station.

AK Jain senior public relations officer, Central Railway said, “The Panvel-bound train, which was scheduled for 9.28am, was delayed for more than 15 minutes after a part of it caught fire when a person threw a discarded bag on the pantograph. Immediate rescue measures were taken and nobody was hurt.” The rake was withdrawn and sent to the car shed for safety reasons. Pantograph draws electricity from overhead electric (OHE) cable to power the train.

“When the bag was thrown on the pantograph, it ignited sparks and caught fire. Station officials as well as the fire brigade rushed to the spot and doused the fire,” said Jain.

Given the incident occurred during peak hours, the station premise was full of commuters. Delay in trains led many of them to use bus services from the nearby Vashi depot.

One hour later, when railway services resumed, trains ran with a delay of 15 minutes.

Railway officials are investigating the issue and are trying to track down the person who flung the bag which led to the fire and disruption of services.

“I was not aware of the exact problem hence I patiently waited for the train to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). After enquiring from a few people I came to know about the issue. The train came after 15 minutes and was packed,” said Rahul Dasgupta, 29, a Vashi resident who travels to Kurla daily.

Naresh Mane, 46 a Nerul resident said, “I had to go to Kharghar for some important work but trains were not available. I waited for a few minutes and later decided to take a cab.”

In a similar incident on September 23, services on the trans-harbour line were disrupted for more than an hour near Thane station after an unknown person threw a piece of cloth on the OHE cable.

Officials had to shut down the power supply to the cable to repair the problem.

With such incidents occurring regularly, commuters are demanding vigilance by the railway officials. “These types of incidents by unknown miscreants have been happening regularly. The railway officials need to identify the culprit and also increase vigilance so that such instances are curbed,” said Hemant Sharma, a transport activist. “These man-made problems need to be stopped as they lead to inconvenience to thousands of commuters who travel daily,” he said.

First Published: Oct 10, 2019 00:17 IST

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