Mega block lifted well before time | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Mega block lifted well before time

Jun 03, 2024 08:02 AM IST

A total of 930 services on CR were cancelled due to the mega block over the past three days, while several services were terminated at Wadala and Byculla stations

Mumbai: The 63-hour mega block implemented by Central Railway (CR) for widening and extending platforms at the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Thane stations was lifted well ahead of schedule on Sunday as all designated work was completed successfully. Work at CSMT was wrapped up by 12.30pm, whereas at Thane, it was concluded around 11.05am, several hours before the 3.30pm deadline. A total of 930 services on CR were cancelled due to the mega block over the past three days, while several services were terminated at Wadala and Byculla stations.

Thane, India - June ,02, 2024: The 63-hour special mega block undertaken by Thane Central Railway for widening of Thane Platform No 5 will end on Sunday at 3.30 pm and the work is almost complete. The width of platform no 5 is seen to be increased , in Thane,in Mumbai, India, on, Sunday, June,02, 2024. ( Praful Gangurde / HT Photo )
Thane, India - June ,02, 2024: The 63-hour special mega block undertaken by Thane Central Railway for widening of Thane Platform No 5 will end on Sunday at 3.30 pm and the work is almost complete. The width of platform no 5 is seen to be increased , in Thane,in Mumbai, India, on, Sunday, June,02, 2024. ( Praful Gangurde / HT Photo )

Following the lifting of the block and subsequent tests and checks, the first local train departed from CSMT for Titwala at 1.10pm. “After extending platforms 10 and 11 by 385 metre each, the platform length is now 690 metre, which can now accommodate 24-car passenger trains,” said a CR official.

Around 250 highly skilled, technically competent personnel were pressed into service at CSMT for various works such as increasing the length of platforms; wiring of points, signals and DC track circuits; installation of new signals; assembling, laying and dismantling turnouts; and erection of overhead equipment portals including two special portals of 53 meters covering all 10 lines. All these works were carried out during the 36-hour block at CSMT starting 12.30am on June 1.

Services between CSMT and Byculla on the main line, and CSMT and Wadala on the harbour line were suspended during this period, leading to massive crowds outside these stations. The BEST Undertaking operated nearly 700 trips and ferried 25,000 extra passengers to cater to the rush. Still, buses and taxis fell short of the actual demand by a large margin.

At Thane, one of the busiest stations in the suburban network with 300 suburban and long-distance trains plying daily, the work was more challenging. Around 400 labourers split into 20 teams, each headed by 15 senior section engineers, worked round the clock since the commencement of the block at 12.30am on May 31.

The main task at Thane was widening of platforms five and six by 2-3 metres across their length. “The entire platform spanning 587 metres was widened by placing 785 precast hollow blocks,” said Dr Swapnil Nila, chief public relations officer, CR. Precast blocks were used for the first time to construct platforms, and they would reduce chances surface settlement, Nila added. Heavy machinery used for various works in Thane included two concrete pumps, five Poclains, one roller and ballast train each, 32 tank wagons and four locomotives.

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