Updated May 31st, 2024 at 23:07 IST

Central Railway: Mumbaikars Face Commuting Woes, Delays Due to Train Cancellations

Users of Central Railway’s suburban services faced delays and overcrowding on Friday morning after a 63-hour-long block commenced to widen platforms at Thane

Central Railway mega block | Image:PTI
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Mumbai: Users of Central Railway’s suburban services faced delays and overcrowding on Friday morning after a 63-hour-long block commenced to widen platforms at Thane.

The mega block, which started at Thursday midnight, has affected the suburban services on CR’s main corridor, causing inconvenience to lakhs of office-goers.

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The Maharashtra government on Friday permitted all public service vehicles in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to carry out stage carriage operations during the mega block, an official said.

The government issued a notification in the afternoon, more than 12 hours after the 63-hour block commenced, permitting public service vehicles, including buses, taxis and autorickshaws, to ferry passengers from any point, he said.

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The government has granted permission under section 66 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, the official said.

Another transport department official said taxis, auto rickshaws and contract carriage buses can pick up and drop passengers at multiple locations as per the notification.

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Commuters complained of delays of up to 30 minutes, packed local trains and overcrowding at major stations due to the block scheduled for widening platforms 5 and 6 at Thane station.

CR has already announced that at least six long-distance trains and 161 local services will remain cancelled on Friday due to the block.

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Anticipating delays and overcrowding, railway authorities have urged commuters to avoid suburban train journeys if not absolutely necessary.

They also appealed to public and private establishments to allow their employees to work from home or provide them alternate means of transport during the block period, besides asking state and municipal transport bodies to run extra buses.

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A CR spokesperson said they have completed some work well before schedule, and things will improve soon.

“The track slewing work (shifting track sideways from its normal position) at Thane station has been completed. Tamping (packing ballast under tracks) and blasting of the track are currently in progress. The up slow line was declared fit at 8.04 am, well ahead of its scheduled time of 12.30 pm,” he said.

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Speaking later in the evening, CR chief public relations officer Swapnil Nila said the Up (CSMT bound) slow track and Down (towards Kalyan) fast track were slewed and shifted first at the start of the mega block, adding that this work was finished head of schedule at 8am on Friday.

"After the space was created for widening of the platform, pre-cast RCC blocks were brought on a wagon and were placed in the afternoon. Till late evening, around 140 of 785 blocks were placed. The work of placing pre-cast RCC blocks is expected to finish by Saturday afternoon. Work of alignment and finishing of platform surface will start thereafter," Nila said.

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The mega block for the works related to extension of platform 10 and 11 at CSMT will start past midnight and is expected to be completed within the deadline, he added.

As per Central Railway, 930 suburban locals and 86 long distance trains will remain cancelled during the 63-hour mega block. Of these, the highest 545 suburban services and more than 35 long distance trains will remain cancelled on Saturday.

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Besides cancellation of trains, there will be short termination and short-orientation of suburban trains on Saturday and, hence, passengers are likely to face maximum inconvenience, officials said.

Meanwhile, Western Railway said it had cancelled a block on Up and Down fast corridors between Churchgate and Mumbai Central Railway stations on Sunday from 10.35 am to 3.35 pm for routine maintenance work.

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"In view of the major block being undertaken over Central Railway and for the convenience of commuters, Western Railway has cancelled the Jumbo Block," it said in a release.

While announcing the 63 hours long mega blocks for platform widening and extension works at Thane and CSMT respectively, Central Railway had informed that they had requested Western Railway not to conduct a mega block on Sunday in Mumbai.

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Hence when Central Railway officials learnt about the Western Railway's announcement about the mega block in the afternoon, they immediately contacted the concerned officials and ensured it was cancelled within a few hours.

 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Republic and is published from a syndicated feed.) 

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Published May 31st, 2024 at 23:07 IST