Signal snag on CR leads to delays, cancellations of Mumbai suburban railway services
Commuters travelling on the Central Railway (CR) were left hassled on Monday when at least 15 services were cancelled and scores of others were delayed for nearly an hour after the signalling system between Thakurli and Kalyan stations developed a snag.
Though the glitch in the signalling system occurred around 6am and was rectified at 6.55am, CR suburban services were thrown out of gear during the rush hour on Monday morning, leaving officer-goers irked and were affected till the afternoon.
Following the incident, commuter activists approached some MPs from Thane district and also wrote to railway minister Piyush Goyal, seeking immediate steps to improve punctuality of CR services. They also questioned how the signalling system developed a snag within 24 hours of the mega block. “For more than a month, the punctuality of suburban services has been very poor. The situation has worsened since last week after pre-monsoon rains started,” said Nandakumar Deshmukh, president of the Federation of Passengers Groups.
Railway officials said slow locals were not able to enter platforms 1 and 2 of Kalyan station. “There was a signal issue on down (Kalyan-bound) slow line just before Kalyan station,” said Sunil Udasi, chief spokesperson, CR. He said trains were running “10 to 15 minutes late and 10 Kalyan-bound services were cancelled”. The Railways operated three special services for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) — two from Dombivli and one from Diva — for the convenience of passengers, Udasi said.
Railway officials also said slow services were diverted to the Kalyan-bound fast line.
However, commuter activists claimed suburban locals were running late by at least 45 minutes to an hour and local trains from Karjat and Kasara to Kalyan were crawling. “A Karjat local for CSMT arrived at the Ghatkopar station at 9.47am instead of its scheduled time of 8.44am,” Sanjay Mestri, a commuter and an activist, said.
“I boarded a fast local from Dombivli . But owing to bunching of locals, the trains were moving slowly. It took around 20 minutes to cover the distance between Kalwa to Thane,” said Sanjyot S, 23, a commuter from Dombivli.
The disruption of services also led to huge crowds in locals trains and commuters said there was no space to walk at stations like Dombivli and Kalyan. “It took nearly five minutes to reach the Dombivli platform from the FoB owing to the crowd,” said Lata Arghade, a commuter activist.