Today, When I reached around 9:05 am at CST, to catch my usual fast 09:08 am Thane Fast, I was surprised to see the platforms to be empty.
After some enquiry I found out that yesterday night there had been a fire at Kurla Signal Cabin, beacause of which many overhead wires have been snapped and damaged.
All the train indicators for central line had been blacked out. After 15 minutes a special slow train to 09:30 am Karasa was announced.
It normally takes me around 40 minutes to reach Thane by a fast local, today it took me close to 2 hrs in a slow local.
Official Statement by Central Railway Spokeperson
The fire was brought under control a few hours later and there were no casualties.Consequently, suburban and long distance trains were hit severely since early morning. At least four incoming and outgoing outstation trains were cancelled, the official said.
It will take three to four days to fully restore the traffic, a CR spokesperson said adding that services on the Harbour line were also hampered.
“There was a fire in the signal cabin between Kurla and Vidyavihar stations at midnight and there was heavy damage
to signalling gears,” the spokesperson said. The fire was brought under control within half an hour by fire brigade personnel.
With indefinite delay in long-distance trains, holiday plans of thousands of people went haywire, leading to frayed temperatures at CST, Dadar, Kurla, Thane, and other important stations.
Train indicators on platforms also blanked out, leaving commuters in complete dark about the train schedules.
Over four million people use the Central Railway suburban network.
For the CR suburban commuters, Railways have allowed them to use their season pass on the Mahim-Churchgate route on Western line as repairs in the signal cabin and other works could take at least two-three days before the situation returns to normal.
Meanwhile, Central Railway has permitted season ticket holders to travel unhindered on either the local or long-distance or harbour line routes as a temporary measure, while the state government and BEST have been requested to deploy additional buses to clear the commuter and tourist rush.