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CR services go off track near Mumbai, commuters see red

Inspection van derails on Friday around 1.04am between Kasara and Umbermali stations, services affected for 12 hours

mumbai Updated: Sep 15, 2018 00:27 IST
Priyanka Dhomse
Priyanka Dhomse
Hindustan Times
Central Railway,Mumbai,Kasara
Railway employees inspect the tracks near Kasara on Friday. (HT PHOTO )

A derailed tower wagon on the Kasara-Kalyan section of Central Railway (CR) disrupted train traffic for almost 12 hours on Friday and led to a public agitation at Vasind station. A probe has been ordered into the derailment.

At around 1.04am on Friday, about 90 minutes after regular maintenance work began, a tower wagon was derailed between Kasara and Umbermali stations. Tower wagons are used to maintain overhead equipment. There is speculation that 1.5 metres of track was missing and had been cut but not replaced. However, Sunil Udasi, chief spokesperson of CR, denied this claim.

“The derailment of the tower wagon happened during maintenance block when no passenger or freight trains are allowed in section. As per laid down procedure, an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the derailment,” he said.

CR maintains a relief train was ordered from Kalyan and Igatpuri immediately after the accident, but it took almost 12 hours for railway authorities to re-rail the eight-wheeler tower wagon. This finally happened at 12.45pm and until then, local services were suspended. An estimated 5,000 commuters gathered at Vasind on Friday morning, waiting for trains that weren’t coming.

“It is a basic duty of the station administration to announce the reason behind a disruption. If they would have made this announcement we could have taken another option to reach till Titwala station as services from those stations were running,” said Subhash Chaudhary, 48, a local commuter from Vasind.

Enraged by the disruption and lack of proper announcements, DO WE HAVE A NUMBER? angry commuters jumped on the tracks at Vasind and performed an impromptu rail roko around 6.30am, holding up long-distance passenger trains.

“The CR first assured that the services will be restored between 7am to 8am in the morning, but they failed to meet their deadline. As the authority didn’t complete the restoration in the given deadline, the locals at Vasind went on protesting, which added to more delay in completion of repairing work,” said Shyam Ubale, general secretary, Kalyan-Karjat-Kasara passengers’ association.

The agitation was finally called off around 8.20am and the CR claims only 36 services were cancelled in this time. “We maintained suburban services up to Asangaon and provided stoppage to mail express trains and authorised commuters to travel. On our request, additional buses were also run by Maharashtra state transport,” said Udasi.

First Published: Sep 15, 2018 00:03 IST