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NDRF sails train passengers to safety

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
By A Staff Reporter

Incessant rains throughout the night created a waterlogging situation so severe at Nallasopara that train movement had to be completely stopped.
Though the suburban system wasn't hit, long distance trains had to be stopped. Two of the worst affected trains were Shatabdi Express and Vadodara Express, where stranded passengers were  rescued by the National Disaster Response Force. After being rescued, passengers were provided with food. At night, even the Army and Navy was roped in to ensure that dinner would reach the passengers despite the weather conditions.

“By evening, all stranded passengers were rescued and brought to Naigaon station,” said Ravinder Bhakar, Chief Public Relations Officer, Western Railway. Normally, the trains have to be stopped when the water level rises over 200mm. However, in case of Nallasopara, the level has risen to 460 mm. In case of Shatabdi Express, the power supply had to be switched off as a precautionary measure. The worst affected Vadodara Express, stranded between Virar and Nallasopara, couldn't be reached due to high water levels.

The NDRF team was called in along with the RPF staff to rescue stranded passengers. Around 1,000 such passengers were rescued and brought to safer locations with the help of boats and buses. Medical assistance was also provided at Nallasopara and Virar station for rescued passengers and they were provided with food, brought in by railway authorities and NGOs. Around 35 long distance trains were cancelled, 25 were  terminated and 17 trains were diverted.

On the Western Line, services had to be stopped on up and down lines between Nallasopara and Virar due to severe water logging. Later, services had to be suspended between Bhayander and Vasai Road due to technical problems. However, train continued to run on all lines between Bhayander and Churchgate. Services of AC locals were also shut during the day. In all 150 suburban services had to be cancelled and 50 services were delayed. According to Western Railway, no suburban train was stuck or marooned because of water logging yesterday.

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