Disaster and Management rescue team undertakes relentless efforts to resume train services on war footing.
Several areas of Mumbai and Gujarat in Western Railways jurisdiction affected due to heavy rainfall and were later restored with meticulous planning and coordination by the teams. Both the states received heavy and incessant rainfall in the past few weeks which affected the railways severely. Incessant rainfall, flash floods and release of water from dams due to rising water level resulted in water logging, breaches, washouts at certain sections, bringing the rail traffic to grinding halt and several passengers being stranded in trains and stations and also in railway colonies.
However, W. Rly dealt with this situation very valiantly and started the restoration work on war footing braving the continous rainfall both day and night. According to a press release issued by CPRO Ravinder Bhakar, survey of each of the affected locations was done by team of officers and the situation was closely monitored from Headquarters. The restoration works were well co-ordinated at all levels – arranging men, material and machines from nearby or far off stations. The required resources like rubble, quarry dust, ballast were arranged from nearest available Divisions and their movements were mobilized alongwith required manpower from the nearest possible locations. Contractual agencies and departmental manpower were deployed for restoration. Generators were arranged for day and night work. Also, the trains were regulated with utmost safety norms prevalent for train operations inorder to avoid any untoward incidents. The vigilant efforts by some of the foot soldiers also helped to avert major causalities.
For first time on WR, inflatable rafts were procured for rescue operations by Vadodara Division. Looking into success of these rafts in reaching out to the affected, more such inflatable rafts will be procured for other Divisions to counter such emergencies.
The details of the sections affected are:
Vasai – Nallasopra – Virar region of Mumbai Division was affected due to incessant and heavy downpour on two occasions, first on 2nd July, 2019 and on 4th August, 2019 wherein some services were cancelled between Nallasopara and Virar and Vasai Road and Nallasopara. The rail traffic had to be stopped for some time as water levels were high on rly tracks with heavy water accumulation. The water level on rly tracks at Nallasopara had risen very high making it impossible to run trains between Nallasopara and Virar.
Immediate action for restoration work:
On 2nd July, 2019, the train services were disrupted on both UP & DOWN fast lines from the midnight at 01.37 hrs onwards. The restoration work was started by mobilizing resources. Eight High Capacity pumps were immediately pressed into service to drain the rainwater from the tracks. Also, 30 trackmen and five Permanent Way Inspectors were deployed to monitor the site condition and measurement of water level. Similarly, on 4th August, 2019, train services were disrupted on both UP and DOWN fast lines from morning. Accordingly, 15 nos. of High Capacity pumps were deployed to drain out rain water and 50 nos. trackmen and Five PWI were deployed alongwith Sectional DEN and ADEN to monitor the site condition and measurement of water level. Both the UP and DOWN fast line tracks were made operational by afternoon due to continuous efforts in minimum possible time.
Vadodara Division experienced the fury of rainfall from 31st July to 10th August, 2019, wherein various sections were disrupted due to exceptionally heavy rains ranging from 246 mm about 495 mm of rainfall at various locations in Vadodara – Surat, Vadodara – Godhra, Anand -Godhra sections, causing flooding of Vishwamitri river & Outflow from Ajwa & Pratappura dams leading to flooding and Water Logging in Vadodara Yard and Vishwamitri Colony, Rain Cuts and earth slips.
Immediate action for restoration work:
The restoration work started in full swing by mobilizing resources such as manpower, rubbles, Quarry dust, Pumps, lighting arrangements. The work was undertaken on war footing day and night, inspite of the heavy rainfall. Inflatable rafts were procured by Vadodara Division for rescue operations in reaching out to the affected which was for the first time in W. Rly.
Ahmedabad Division experienced the fury of rainfall on 10th August, 2019, wherein various sections Katosan Road – Mehsana, Viramgam – Samakhiali – Palanpur , Samakhiali – Gandhidham were disrupted due to heavy rains & flooding of water, release of water from Machchu dam and flooding of wateron railway tracks from nearby areas. Heavy rainfall of 370 mm was experienced at these regions in a short span of 8 – 10 hrs.
- Viramgam – Mehsana section experienced heavy rainfall from 00:50 hrs. receiving 135 mm rainfall in 2 hrs time. The track at approaches of Limited Height Subway (LHS) No.6, LHS No.14, LHS No.23, LHS No.25 and LHS No.27 was settled/disturbed.
- At around 18:45 hrs. tracks on Maliya Miyana – Samakhiali section was disturbed due to heavy rains and release of water from Machchu Dam.
- At 20:10 hrs, the tracks in Samakhiali – Palanpur & Samakhiali – Gandhidham section was washed out and sleepers were in hanging condition due to heavy rain fall and release of water from Machchu Dam and a small check dam near Shivlakha.
Immediate action for restoration work:
The restoration work started in full swing on all the affected sections immediately. In the Viramgam – Mehsana section resources such as manpower, 40 ballast hoppers, 12 wagons containing rubble & Quarry Dust, 75 trackmen were mobilised. Officers were also deputed for better co-ordination and supervision to ensure immediate restoration of traffic. After unloading of ballast and tamping by machine (Unimat No.8287), the Katosan Road – Mehsana section was restored on the same day i.e. 10/08/2019 by 06:45 hrs. For restoration of Maliya Miyana – Samakhiali section, Departmental labourers (100 of Ahmedabad Division & 150 from other divisions of Western Railway), 20 wagons of material (15 rubble + 5 Quarry Dust), 40 ballast hoppers and 2 JCB machines were deployed for restoration of traffic. Officers were deputed and the entire section was restored on 11/08/2019 at 22:55 hrs.
For restoration of Samakhiali – Palanpur section, 50 departmental labours of Ahmedabad Division, one officer, 08 wagons of material (5 rubble + 3 Quarry Dust), 10 ballast hoppers and 1 JCB machines were deployed for restoration of traffic. The entire section was restored on 11/08/2019 at 17:55 hrs. For restoration of Samakhiali – Gandhidham section, 200 departmental labours (100 from Ahmedabad division & 100 from other divisions), 35 wagons of material (25 rubble + 10 Quarry Dust), 50 ballast hoppers and 3 JCB machines were deployed for restoration of traffic including five senior railway officers.
The Dahinsara – Navlakhi section was disrupted on 10th August, 2019 due to sudden rush of water on account of release of water from Machchu dam. The water was overflowing above the track by 2 feet in Dahinsara – Navlakhi section and as a result 650 meters of track got washed out at 4 locations.
Immediate action for restoration work
250 Trackmen of Rajkot division, 50 Trackmen of Bhavnagar Division, 8 Permanent Way supervisors, 3 ADENs were deployed, considering the extent of damage and the quantum of disruption. Therafte, on 12.08.2019 nine nos of pocclain/hitachi, 70 Nos of dumpers, 02 Nos of JCB, 01 Roller and more 200 Labours were deployed for track linking. The section was restored on 15th August, 2019.
The restoration works on all the sections have been completed with the dedicated efforts by the staff and officers alike. The employees who showed exemplary work beyond the call of duty were felicitated and rewarded on the occasion of Independence Day. A. K Gupta – General Manager, applauded and appreciated the painstaking efforts put in by all the railway staff, working tirelessly even in such extreme condition to put the railway back on tracks.