Scores of commuters were left stranded on their way to work on Monday morning as train traffic on the MRTS line (Beach-Velachery) came to a halt for over two hours.
Services were disrupted between 7.58 a.m. and 10 a.m. after high-tension overhead electric traction cables snapped near Chintadripet. A total of 24 trains were cancelled.
“I rely solely on the MRTS line to get to office,” said R.Loganathan, who transits at the Beach station to reach his workplace in Mylapore everyday. During rush hour, more than 2,000 passengers travel per train on the MRTS segment. That comes to a transit capacity of 12,000 passengers per hour. A special train was run at 8.45 a.m. using emergency power supply. A.K.Sivakumar, a regular commuter, said, “At least announcements about the snag and the expected time for resumption of service could have been made periodically.”
S.Anantharaman, Divisional Railway Manager, Southern Railway, said the problem was caused because of shorting of the overhead cable. “It could have been caused by crows which build nests on portals that support the OHC. They sometimes deposit small electric wires which result in shorting. All portals will henceforth be cowered with a green mesh.” He said close to 50 metres of the cable will be inspected and changed overnight.