Heavy overnight rains in Mumbai and neighbouring areas led to flooding and washing out of some rail tracks in the Kasara Ghat near here and other areas and also caused mudslides and boulder crashes, severely affecting long distance and local train services, officials said on Thursday. According to railway offficials, some long distance trains were held up at various locations and special buses were being arranged for the stranded train passengers.
The suburban train services of the Central Railway were being operated only up to Titwala and Ambernath stations in neighbouring Thane district from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in south Mumbai since Wednesday night, CR’s chief spokesperson Shivaji Sutar said.
Train operations from Titwala to Igatpuri (in Nashik district adjoining Thane) and from Ambernath to Lonavala in neighbouring Pune district were suspended after tracks were washed out, boulders crashed, and inundation and mudslides occurred at multiple locations in the section due to the heavy overnight downpour, he said.
Around 10.15 pm on Wednesday, the Central Railway suspended the traffic between Titwala and Igatpuri rail section following heavy water-logging on tracks near Umbermali station close to Kasara, located about 120 km from here, and due to incidents of boulder crash at the Kasara Ghat, according to rail officials. Later, at 12.20 am, the CR suspended traffic between Ambernath and Lonavala section as flooding took place near Vangani station, located about 90 km from Mumbai, and some boulders fall in the Khandala Ghat section, they said.
The CR said heavy downpour for a few hours caused damage to railway tracks and other equipment. It said Kasara recorded around 138 mm rainfall in four hours from 9 pm on Wednesday, while Lonavala and Karjat recorded 142 mm and 129.1 mm rainfall, respectively, from midnight till 7 am on Thursday. Sutar said efforts were on to restore train movement in both the sections. “Special boulder trains, various machines, and labourers are working at the damaged spots,” Sutar said, adding that the Central Railway’s general manager was continuously monitoring and guiding officers and staff for quick restoration from his camp office.
The Central Railway has set up help desks at Kalyan, Kasara, and Igatpuri stations for passengers, he said. The CR’s suburban services on the Harbour line, Trans-Harbour line and Belapur-Kharkopar line were running as per schedule, officials added. Local train services on the Western Railway route were also affected due to track changing point failure at Churchgate in south Mumbai early Thursday morning, a spokesperson said. The problem was rectified around 7.30 am and since then the services were running normal, he said.