Commuters walk on the tracks as train services come to a standstill.
Commuters walk on the tracks as train services come to a standstill.
BL Soni

Lakhs of commuters were affected after suburban services came to standstill for nearly two and a half hours on Monday due to the power grid failure. Railway officials said it has rarely happened that the suburban services on both Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) stopped because of it.

Railway officials said that suburban as well as long distance trains were held up on the tracks from 10.05 am in the financial capital of the country.

A CR release stated that the services on the harbour line that connects Mumbai to Navi Mumbai by rail resumed first at 10.55 am. The main line network between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Khopoli as well as CSMT and Kasara began at 12.26 pm. According to a WR statement, the services on its suburban network was restored at 12.20 pm. "Once power supply was restored on WR's suburban section, all overhead equipment was charged at 12.20 pm and the suburban train services were restored," said a spokesperson of WR.

Meanwhile, the passengers commuting in the locals faced hardship as all the trains came to a standstill and piled on the tracks. Fans and lights inside the trains were switched off and many passengers preferred to jump and walk on the tracks to the next station. “It is the first time I witnessed such an incident where trains stopped due to power grid failure instead of OHE problem or rail fracture. Moreover, we were stuck in between two stations. I had to alight on the railway track and catch a bus to reach office on time,” said Shweta Singh, working at a government-run bank. WR services run between Churchgate and Dahanu.

Several special services of outstation trains were also hit due to the power grid failure, forcing railway authorities to reschedule their departure.

CR, in its release, informed that it has rescheduled LTT-Gorakhpur (Train No:01055), LTT-Gorakhpur (Train No:02542), LTT-Thiruvananthapuram, LTT-Darbhanga and LTT-Varanasi special trains. WR, in its statement, said that Bandra terminus-Amritsar clone special train, Bandra terminus-Amritsar Paschim Express, Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central Karnavati Express, Sayaji Nagari Express and Bandra terminus-Jodhpur SuryaNagri Express were affected.

Earlier, last month, both CR and WR services were suspended due to heavy rains and submerged railway tracks.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the suburban services are available only for essential services staff since June 15. Both CR and WR operate 953 suburban services everyday.

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