Mumbai: Over 15 hours after the Puducherry Express derailed near Matunga station in Mumbai, the Central Railway has completed the work of restoring the traffic on the fast corridor of the city’s suburban train network, officials said on Saturday. However, commuters continued to face inconvenience as the local train schedule remained affected on the mainline of the CR, which runs from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Kalyan, Khopoli, and Kasara.
Three coaches of the Dadar-Puducherry Express (Train no 11005) derailed near Matunga station on Friday night after the engine of the CSMT -Gadag Express, going in the same direction, dashed it sideways.
Traffic on the Down Fast line, which takes trains out of the city, was restored at 1.10 pm on Saturday and the first train that passed on the route was the CSMT-Chennai Express, said CR chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar.
The Up Fast line, which takes trains towards CSMT, was restored at 8:30 am, while the Up and Down slow lines were unaffected, though both were kept shut for some time for safety reasons following the accident that had occurred around 9.45 pm, he said.
CR, through its Twitter handle, had said the first train to use the restored Up Fast line was the Latur-Mumbai Express.
The incident, however, continued to affect the CR’s suburban train schedule with the bunching of trains causing delays, leading to scenes of passengers jumping onto tracks on some stretches and walking to the nearest station.
While Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) deployed buses in its jurisdiction to provide relief to people, there was no information on a similar deployment by the BMC-run BEST undertaking, with its general manager Lokesh Chandra and spokesperson not responding to queries.
Mumbai’s suburban train network is one of the busiest in the world. About 3,000 local trains, including over 1,700 on the CR, are operated on a daily basis, in addition to the outstation trains and goods trains. Before the pandemic, daily over 75 lakh commuters used to travel on the suburban trains.