Wednesday, February 13, 2019

STAFF REPORTER THE HINDU 
CHENNAI, FEBRUARY 11, 2019 


Commuters waiting at the Central Metro Rail Station. | Photo Credit: R. Ragu


Hundreds left stranded on tracks


Chennai Metro Rail services were affected on Monday morning, leaving hundreds of passengers literally stranded on the tracks. The disruption was a result of tripping of an overhead electricity cable in the ramp area between Saidapet and Little Mount stations.

The train heading towards the airport came to a grinding halt, and as a ripple effect, four other trains had to be stopped, sources said.

Owing to the disruption, trains were operated only between AG-DMS to the Chennai airport from 8.30 a.m. till 12.45 p.m. and this led to major delays, affecting hundreds of passengers, sources said.

Around 8.30 a.m., the pantograph — an equipment on the roof of every train that collects current from overhead cables and ensures other systems of the train are connected to power — got tangled with the overhead cable leading to tripping and the train immediately stopped, sources said. “We are trying to find out why it got tangled if the maintenance was carried out regularly and what would have prevented this problem,” a source said.

According to officials, there were no problems in trains running between Chennai Central to St.Thomas Mount via Koyambedu. There was a signalling issue at Chennai Central station in the morning and the passenger information display systems malfunctioned till 11 a.m. due to server issues, sources added.

Siemens, the contractor that provided overhead and power supply equipment, the signalling software and the passenger information display system, said: “Siemens is providing all necessary support to Chennai Metro Rail Limited to ensure that there are no interruptions and delays to the train operations.”

Since Chennai Metro Rail offered free rides on Monday, thousands thronged the stations to avail themselves of the offer. On coming to know of the glitch, many were furious. Some even took to social media platforms to vent their ire. Natarajan posted: “@cmrlofficial break down in service during peak hour and no information on when the route will be up again. No need for free inferior rides here. Office-goers are being taken for granted. Not fair.. Not at all. #Chennai #chennaimetro”

Chennai Metro Rail will continue to offer free rides to commuters on Tuesday across the 45-km stretch.

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