Elphinstone Road stampede is still afresh on our minds

The horrific stampede at the Elphinstone Road bridge took place on September 29 which claimed the lives of at least 22 persons and left another 33 injured.

The stampede took place at the narrow landing of the Foot-Over-Bridge (FOB) as the sudden heavy rains caught people unawares and many rushed to take shelter on the bridge. Due to this, there was over-crowding at the exit point of the bridge which caused the stampede.

Not a single announcement was made at the Elphinstone Road railway station even after the station master received two calls from the internal western railway number on the day of stampede. The immediate response after the stampede was the Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal who ordered to conduct the audit of stations on both the central and western line which revealed several discrepancies and works were initiated.

Averted derailments

There were at least three incidents of major railway accidents which were averted on the central railway line in 2017. On January 24, a major railway accident on central railways was averted when Mumbai bound Jan Shatabdi express that was returning from Madgaon, was averted on Tuesday night.

The loco pilot applied brakes after noticing a seven-metre long rail piece lying horizontally on the track near Diva railway station and averted a major railway accident. On February 6, there was a repeat of Diva incident at Kalamboli station where the train’s engine hit a rail piece and fortunately all the passengers were unhurt.

Matheran toy train

The much awaited tourist attraction of Matheran toy train services finally restarted its services from November 1 onwards with a new safety system. There is a new braking system which includes two braking vans which would help in avoiding derailments. This new braking system would be operated using a switch which was otherwise done manually. There were two incidents of derailments reported on this train which took place last year.

New rail coaches

Central Railways lauched vistadome coach which is attached to a Manmad bound express train. This train has a specific feature which allows a seamless view through its large transparent windows and roof.

The coach has witnessed 100 percent booking that has helped the central railways earn 85,000Rs (maximum earning) in a single journey.

The coach was launched on September 18 this year. This coach travels on the route between Mumbai- Goa route and it is attached to the Jan-Shatabdi Express train.

The coach has been designed by the railways in order to provide a delightful experience of travelling for the passengers. Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Tatanagar Antyodaya Express  also began its services this year.

Airconditioned local trains

The first Air Conditioned (AC) local left Borivali station for its maiden journey to Churchgate at 10.30am on December 25. The first service received a good response and ran almost packed with thousands of excited commuters as they were ready to hop on the swanky AC local train. The final trail run of the AC local train on the western line began from May end onwards. During the final trial run, hundreds of sacks filled with rubble were placed inside the train to check the loading capacity.

This trial run helped to know the carrying capacity of the commuters travelling in a single coach of the train. As the AC local train is taller than the other trains, the top side of the train brushed against the Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) during the trial runs conducted on the central line.

monorail fire accident

The Mumbai Monorail caught fire at Mysore Colony station on November 8. The main cause of fire was due to a short circuit and two coaches of the train was damaged completely.

Fortunately, there were no casualties reported in the incident. It was an empty train which was heading from Wadala to begin days’ service from Chembur.

The short circuit was reported in the braking system. In July, an accident was averted when the train which were to run in the opposite direction, ran on the same track near Chembur station.

Fortunately, the loco pilot managed to avoid the collision and saved more than thousands of commuters.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has received just a single bidder for the first phase of monorail after they floated tender for the third time. The maintenance of the first phase which runs between Wadala to Chembur after the fire incident. Only a single bidder from the Infrastructure Leasing Financial Services Limited (ILFS) company showed interest.


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