CR divisional railway manager Ravindra Goyal said, “We are trying to run the services in the best way possible.”
Mumbai: With heavy showers predicted over the next few days, the city’s local trains, particularly the Central Railway (CR) stands the risk of being affected if the rail tracks get submerged under 50 mm rains. The CR line is prone to waterlogging due to its low-lying topography between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Dadar, which often leads to suspension of services after a downpour. Elevating the track level would be a mammoth task, said sources. CR divisional railway manager Ravindra Goyal said, “We are trying to run the services in the best way possible.”
On August 29, the 344 mm rainfall had brought trains across the city to a halt. In the wake of which, the CR and the Western Railway (WR) employees had to put in an extra 50 man hours over five days to get the system up and running to its full capacity.
There is an urgent need to update the infrastructure, but officials have said that even if the money and political will from the state come in, it would mean that the railways will have to shut its services for a while, which would be chaotic for the public.
Railway officials said that a section on the CSMT-Dadar stretch referred to as the saucer-section will have to be raised as it is below the mean sea level, causing the water to gush onto the track. A railway official said, “First, the CR will have to shut down the section between CSMT and Sion, the earth on which the tracks are laid will have to be raised and for that low-lying rail-over-bridges will have to be broken and an alternative road will have to be provided for the public.”
“According to our safety procedures, if the water rises above 50 mm, we shut the services but this cannot be applied to the saucer-section as water-logging above that level is very common in that section,” he added.
Both the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corp-oration (MRVC) and the CR had suggested a diversion in the track, backing it up with the last five years of travelling patterns that showed an increase in footfall into the suburbs.