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Travelling in Mumbai locals will be safer and hygienic after the lockdown gets over

Mumbai divisions of the Central Railway and Western Railway has taken this coronavirus lockdown as an opportunity to carry out maintenance and safety work at the suburban network, which was not possible during the normal train schedule. Nearly 3,000 train services operate daily carrying over 80lakh people to their destinations, making the backbone of the country’s financial capital. And now, it’s been a month since the trains stopped running on the tracks of Mumbai which was once the busiest and congested networks in the world.

Since, the trains are not running, the rail authorities are using this time to carry out maintenance of the rail signalling system, tracks, overhead equipment and rolling stock. During the normal busy days, disruption of 15 min could cause chaos and the rail authorities would carry out important maintenance and safety works either during the few hours window available late night or by enforcing mega blocks during the weekends or holidays, when comparatively less commuters travel in the local trains. As the whole system is very busy and overburdened, a few hours were never sufficient for the maintenance.

“The Western Railway is using this as an opportunity to complete the maintenance works wherever required, since getting a traffic block in this division is a big challenge. The entire fleet of track machines has worked and done tamping of 99 km of track and 105 turnouts. For the health assessment of the tracks, the Oscillation Monitoring System (OMS) run was conducted on 2,503 km of the railway track,” Western Railway’s chief Ravinder Bhakar said. Keyman are inspecting every inch of the 1,394 km long track and using ultrasonic flaw detectors to check welds. Several other works of overhead equipment, signal and telecom infrastructure maintenance were done during this lockdown.

Removal of rusty portal booms of overhead equipment, maggering (an electric test) of signal and telecom cables of the entire Mumbai division, cleaning and maintenance of transformers, among others as stated by The Central Railway’s chief spokesperson Shivaji Sutar. The spokesperson further stated that all the work has been carried out by following the social distancing guidelines and this time period has been utilised to carry out critical work to enhance the safety and sanity of the train operations. Special efforts have been taken to maintain hygiene in the passenger area like sanitisation of door handles, side handles, grab handles, seats, windows, partitions, etc. In long distance trains, disinfection of toilets and wash basins is also being ensured.

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