We are hoping to complete the last leg of the restoration work by taking a night block today (Wednesday). By tomorrow, everything should back to normal: Ravinder Bhakar, CPRO, WR
Forty-eight hours after the July 3 Andheri foot over-bridge collapse were crucial for the Western Railway and they came through by restoring the Churchgate-Virar corridor by late night on the same day itself. Yesterday, the services experienced a few hiccups as the debris removal work on the last pair of tracks was still going on. Gokhale bridge remained close for traffic yesterday too, and will remain so for the next few days. The traffic flow was stopped at a bridge near the Grant Road station as it had developed a crack. Later, the bridge was opened to traffic as no significant damage was found. On a bright note, the Elphinstone-Parel bridge was officially opened to public yesterday.
“We are hoping to complete the last leg of the restoration work by taking a night block today. By tomorrow, everything should be back to normal,” said Ravinder Bhakar, Chief Public Relations Officer, Western Railway. In total, around 34 pairs of services were cancelled during the day, and several others were delayed. Prominently, the slow services towards Churchgate were affected during the day.
Due to cancellations on the western line after the collapse, emergency plan, which has been developed after the tragic Elphinstone stampede was implemented at Dadar to clear the rush of passengers. “Ghatkopar, Kurla and Dadar were identified as the stations expected to experience a rise in footfall because of the metro connectivity, so we deployed more constables at these places,” said Sachin Bhalode, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, Railway Protection Force, Central Railway, adding that at first the ticket counter area is de-congested in such times, followed by the foot over-bridges.
Though trouble was brewing on the central and the trans-harbour lines yesterday and the services were affected, the consequences weren't as severe. After a fast local to Badlapur was halted at Ghatkopar due to break binding, services were delayed on the line for 20 minutes between 12:18 pm and 12:36 pm. It's a technical issue where the wheel gets jammed and smoke can be seen when an attempt is made to run the train.
On the trans-harbour route, two wagons of a goods train were stuck on the crossover on the Turbhe-Diva line. The train had to be stopped as a rail fracture was found on a branch line connection. Services were affected between Panvel and Thane for an hour between 3:15 pm to 4:30 pm.