MUMBAI: The Central Railway (CR) has finally opened up the Kasara-Kalyan section almost 96 hours after it was shut down following the Duranto derailment on August 29 at Asangaon. To add to the commuter’s woes, a total of 2,000 local services have been cancelled since the deluge and the railways also suspended over 50 long distance trains in and out of the city.
The CR had been struggling with restarting the Kasara line as the slush kept sliding on the tracks due to incessant rains, in the predominantly Ghat region of Kasara and Asangaon. The Kasara section was restarted with the first local sent from Asangaon to Kalyan at 7.55 am bringing relief to around 10 lakh passengers who use the line. But, commuters suffered on the fourth day as well as the services as the CR decided to run 1,300 services out of its 1,660, in order to buy itself some time and recover over an estimated 19 rakes that had been marooned in the deluge on Tuesday.
An official said, “The CR had to run limited services and it has now seen 2, 000 local services cancelled as a result of the aftermath of the floods on Tuesday and had to suspend almost 50 long distance-passenger/express trains as the route of Kasara to Kalyan could not bring them in.” He further added, “We saw a cascading effect on the services due to the fact that the rakes were marooned mid track and we had to ply them to different car sheds via diesel locomotives, open them up and dry them before sending them back on the line.”
Commuters like R N Patil who lives in Asangaon and had been resorting to any available road transport until Saturday said that it has been a battle to commute to his work place at CST every day since the line was shut down, he said, “I went back to work on Thursday and Friday and it has been an uphill task, so finally on Saturday around six of us from Asangaon carpooled to Kalyan and then took a train to CST.”
The CR has decided to cancel the mega-block it would have taken on September 03, but will again run the limited time-table of 1,300 services on its main line, Harbour, Trans-Harbour and CSMT-Andheri section.