In Mumbai, where the local trains are the lifeline of daily commuting, a growing concern has emerged in the form of frequent instances of alarm chain pulling ( ACP) on long-distance trains. Between April to November this year a total of 1075 cases of ACP were reported in the entire Central Railway jurisdiction including 344 in Mumbai division, 355 in Bhusaval division, 241 in Nagpur, 96 in Pune division and 39 in Solapur division of Central Railway.
"The ripple effect of chain pulling extends beyond immediate delays. On average 12 suburban trains of Mumbai division affected daily ( delayed up to 10 minutes) contribute to overcrowded platforms, irate passengers, and compromised safety protocols. Moreover, the cumulative punctuality loss of 16.50% poses a significant challenge to the Central Railway's commitment to maintaining a reliable and efficient transportation system" said a senior officer of CR.
Apart from suburban trains of Mumbai division, these ACP incidences contributes 8.29 percent punctuality loss of Mail/Express trains daily over Central Railway
According to CR, during the period from April to November 2023, over Central Railway, due to Alarm chain pulling incidences, overall 1075 long distance trains were delayed up to 10 minutes including 344 Mail /Express trains in Mumbai Division, 355 Trains in Bhusawal Division, 241 trains in Nagpur Division, 96 in Pune Division and 39 in Solapur Division.
In November alone, over Central Railway, due to Alarm chain pulling incidents, overall 197 Trains were delayed with an average punctuality loss of 10 minutes. i.e 73 Mail /Express trains in Mumbai Division, 53 in Bhusawal Division, 34 trains in Nagpur Division, 30 in Pune Division and 8 in Solapur Division.
ACP being used for frivolous reasons: CR
"Railways have provided an Alarm Chain Pulling (ACP) option in Suburban and Mail / Express trains for use during emergency purpose only. It is observed that passengers are resorting to ACP for frivolous reasons like arriving late, alighting/boarding at intermediate stations etc," said Dr Shivraj Manaspure chief public relations officer of CR.
According to CR, the act of ACP in trains not only affects the running of that particular train but also has a cascading effect on the trains that follow behind. In a suburban system like Mumbai Division, this results in late running of Mail / Express and suburban trains hampering its punctuality. Further the misuse of ACP for the convenience of one or few passengers ends up causing inconvenience to all other passengers.
"Legal action is being taken against those who are involved in unauthorised chain pulling by registering cases under section 141 of the Railway Act. In the Act, there is a provision of fine of Rs 1000 or imprisonment of one year, or both,” said officer of CR adding that between April to November cases against 793 persons for misuse of alarm chain pulling were registered and a fine of Rs. 2.72 lakhs released from them.
Trains in which frequent Alarm chain pulling cases occur
Panvel - Gorakhpur Express
LTT - Gorakhpur Express
CSMT - Howrah Mail (via - Allahabad)
CSMT- Howrah Mail (via Nagpur)
CSMT - Lucknow Pushpak Express
LTT - Gorakhpur Express
Mumbai - Howrah Gitanjali Express
Yesvantpur - Nizmuddin express
Vasco - Nizamuddin Goa Express
Nizamuddin - Vasco Goa Express
Coimbatore - LTT Express
Pune - Jammu Tawi Jhelum Express
New Delhi Bengaluru Express
Mysore - Bagalkot Basava exp
Most affected stations
Kalyan, Dadar, Thane, CSMT, Kasara, Panvel, LTT stations and Ambivli, Titwala, Nashik, Khandwa Burhanpur , Solapur, Ahmednagar Nagpur and Pune
Total number of ACP cases (From April to November 2023)
Total case reported over Central Railway ----1075
Mumbai Division- 344
Bhusaval Division- 355
Nagpur Division- 241
Pune Division - 96
Solapur Division- 39