MUMBAI: A “bypass rail route” helped travellers tide over Sunday’s mega block on Harbour line.
A block on Sunday between Mankhurd and Nerul usually paralyzes traffic between Navi Mumbai and Mumbai. Passengers either postpone travel plans and board trains after the mega block, or are forced to come by packed buses or overcharging autorickshaws to Mankhurd before boarding trains.But this Sunday, the harried commuters found an alternative. The
CR ran eight special services between Panvel and CST. At Thane, trains were routed via Trans-Harbour network and continued their journey to Panvel. Four trains left CST at 10.31am, 11.40am, 12.53pm, 1.49pm and headed for Panvel. They halted at Masjid Bunder, Sandhurst Road, Byculla, Dadar and Kurla stations before reaching Thane.
In the reverse direction, trains heading towards CST pulled out of Panvel at 10.35am, 11.24am, 12.45pm and 1.42pm. In the reverse direction, trains were run from Panvel to CST at 10.35 am, 11.24 am, 12.45 pm and 1.42 pm. Commuters boarding these trains reached CST directly and there was no problem of changing trains or switching to road transport. Though it covered a longer route and took nearly 1 hour 45 minutes, they were glad that these trains saved them a lot of time, energy and money.
“It was long pending. We were usually stranded during Sunday megablocks,” said an office-goer from Nerul, who works on alternate Sundays. “Now, we can expect trains for CST even when the rail block is on. It has come as a great relief,” he stated.
Aarti Subramanium, who works in a media firm, said commuters could opt for these services and reach south Mumbai in case of an emergency during a rail, which is usually between 11am and 4pm. A CR officer said, “We have introduced a new crossing from down fast track No 3 to down track No 5 near Thane station. This will allow down trains to change tracks after Mulund and then go directly to the transharbour line. So, one will not have to get down at Thane to change trains.”
“Currently, the indicator displays the train code as PL (Panvel), plans are afoot to allot a special code. There are regular announcements that the train will be routed via Main line to
Thane and then through Trans-Harbour,” said CR spokesperson A K Singh.Though there was relief on Harbour line, commuters travelling between Mulund and Matunga on Main line witnessed huge rush during Sunday megablock. The rail block was on the Up slow line between these two stations.
“It is summer season and most of us are going to south Mumbai or western suburbs to visit tourist spot. But the trains are more crowded than usual,” said Rajiv Gupta, a commuter from Mulund. The platform number 4 is crowded since 11 am as slow trains are being diverted on the Up fast track.
Said Singh, “Trains will be delayed by 15 minutes and will be crowded due to the megablocks. Passengers are requested not to take risks and not travel on footboard or on rooftop of local trains.”