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Citizens inconvenienced by Western Railway mega block

Commuters had a tough time on Sunday as train services on both the Western and Harbour lines between Andheri and Churchgate/CST stations shut down for more than five hours. Packed buses and overcharging taxis and autos brought little respite to those who ventured out or arrived by long-distance trains. The Western Railway(WR) mega block was from 10.30am to 3.45pm and was enforced to carry out conversion work from DC to AC traction on this stretch.

While railway officials claimed there was minimal inconvenience to commuters, platforms were packed with commuters, outstation passengers were unable to find connecting trains, and the eight special diesel locos operated by WR were crowded to weekday peak-hour capacity.

The situation was worse on the roads, with jams at many places like Parel, Bandra, Byculla, Santa Cruz, Kurla, Nagpada and Jogeshwari, said motorists. People who had office on Sunday took three times the normal time to reach their workplace.

“Though it’s a Sunday, railway officials can’t presume that we will stay at home and cancel travel plans,” said Siddesh Dave, a Kandivli resident.

But WR chief PRO Sharat Chandrayan reiterated there was no inconvenience to passengers. “We had publicized the block in advance and appealed to citizens to cancel travel plans,” he said, claiming the platforms were empty. The BEST claimed it ran additional buses-about 80 extra vehicles-on Sunday, but these too were packed at many places.

Several cabbies and auto drivers took advantage of the situation, making a killing by charging exorbitant fares. Refusals too persisted despite assurances from the authorities to curb the menace. Bhayander resident Amit Singh said, “I travelled to Andheri by train, took a bus for WEH, switched to a bus headed for Sion and boarded a train to CST.” Many booked fleet cabs, but not everyone was lucky as the cabs were in huge demand.

DCP (traffic) Nandkumar Chougule said, “Traffic cops were on duty in large numbers. There were a few jams due to religious processions and the mega-block, but we managed to regulate the flow of traffic.”

But Ajay Ram, who arrived by the Howrah Express at Dadar, said, “Several passengers like me are squatting on the footbridge as there are no trains till 4.30pm.” Trains on Central Railway were also full in the afternoon. Those on the Harbour line (Andheri to CST) were unaware of the mega block.

Advantages Of Conversion

Due to overhead traction conversion from 1,500 volt DC to 25,000 volt AC on Western Railway’s entire suburban section, the EMU train operation will be faster and smoother

Conversion will ensure that less maintenance is required, saving time and effort

There will be less power loss, allowing the power generating station to be located away from the consumption point

The conversion will not only result in better efficiency but will also reduce pollution

Around 30 extra trains will be introduced. Trains are expected to cross 120kmph after conversion

Mission Accomplished

More than 800 WR staffers were on the tracks between Churchgate and Andheri to install heavy wires and two big sub-stations

The entire WR stretch between Churchgate and Andheri, and the Harbour line between CST and Andheri was shut down for nearly six hours on Sunday. Only eight special diesel loco trains were operated between Churchgate and Andheri during the block period Two huge 30 MVA transformers were installed near Mahalaxmi station

The work was carried out at a height of 20 ft and wires weighing between seven and eight kg were handled by the workers

Three more 30 MVA transformers were installed between Bandra and Khar stations in the afternoon

The entire stretch has been transformed. In the earlier DC system, 1,500 volts of DC power was supplied to the Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) motor through overhead wires. Now, the electric charge’s movement periodically reverses direction and 25,000 volts will be supplied from transformers to the EMU’s motor

Since the entire section between Churchgate to Virar will now have 25,000 volt AC power-which is 17 times stronger than DC-anyone coming within two metres of the overhead wire will be charred to death

The 84-Year Saga (From Dc To Ac)

On the Western line, the first DC rake was run on January 5, 1928. Sir Leslie Wilson, governor of Bombay, inaugurated the Colaba to Borivli electric line from Mahalaxmi station in the presence of 700 invitees. Since then, the network has been extensively widened, with 1,214 local services running and carrying around 34 lakh commuters every day. The DC-AC conversion of the Borivli-Virar section was completed in 2007, while the section between Borivli and Vile Parle was converted into AC traction by November 2011.

The last leg of conversion of electric traction of WR’s suburban network from DC to AC was carried out between Churchgate and Andheri on Sunday

Major Milestones In The History Of Dc Locals On WR

1928 : First EMU train between Colaba & Borivli 1936 : Borivli to Virar electrified. Steam engine withdrawn 1961 : Introduction of nine-car trains 1972 : Total number of services crossed the 500 mark 1986 : 12-car trains introduced 1992 : World’s first ladies’ special train and exclusive seats for senior citizens introduced 1993 : Compartment for physically handicapped introduced 2003 : Total number of sevices crosses 1,000 mark 2009 : 15-car train introduced 2012 : Complete conversion to AC traction

Rallies and processions add to Sunday’s traffic woes

Mumbai: Traffic crawled in most parts of the city on Sunday as WR’s mega block coincided with poll rallies and religious processions.

Banker Arunima Basu, travelling from Vile Parle around 5pm, said it took her over two hours to reach Fort. “There were few cabs and traffic worsened as we reached Sion-Dharavi road,” she added. “The situation was more chaotic as the Lalbaug and Gloria Church flyovers were shut,” she added.

Cops confirmed that traffic near JJ Hospital and Bandra were worst hit. “The mega block added to the traffic woes, but things eased out late in the evening,” said an official. Northbound motorists also faced chaos due to several diversions in Vidyavihar and Vikhroli.

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Posted by on Feb 6 2012. Filed under Business India News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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