Bad times continue to haunt India's first monorail. After horror stories of doors opening on their own and breaking machinery, it was the turn of a tripping cable on Sunday.
The Fertiliser Township station incident forced the monorail to suspend services for 10 hours.
As the underground power supply from the Traction Sub-Station (TSS) tripped at 4:23 pm, a cable burnt, leading to the malfunctioning of the insulator attached to the guideway rail.
As a result, the Wadala Depot-bound Rolling Stock Train (RST) Number 5, which had just entered the station, could not move any further. Passengers were asked to alight and services were shut from 4.30 pm onwards.
Staff from both Larsen & Toubro and the Operations Control Centre (OCC) could not do much.
Though attempts were made to shut down the train, they failed. But the lights, air-conditioning and other electrical systems inside the rake were live. They got turned off when the batteries in two rakes drained out completely after a few hours.
Attempts to supply power from the other TSS -- Wadala and Mysore Colony -- along the 8.93-km long corridor, also proved futile. The TSS was unable to take the load of the remaining route due to the burning of the insulator at the Fertiliser Township Station.
In all, four rakes got stuck on the Wadala Depot-Chembur corridor and passengers were asked to vacate the trains.
Metropolitan commissioner UPS Madan confirming the incident: "The problem was with the power cable beneath the pavement and not with the TSS. We had to cancel monorail services. They were restored by 11.30 am on Monday."
On Monday, two attempts were made to begin revenue service but had to be called off. The services resumed only after 11.30am when the affected monorail train (RST 5) was towed by a rescue monorail rake and brought into the car depot at Wadala.
This isn't the first instance of safety issues arising in the Mumbai Monorail system. In the past dna has reported about a door not getting closed in mid-section (between two stations) and a part of machinery breaking down.
Doors of either side of the monorail rake opened after it reached Chembur Monorail Station. The captain shut the doors of the danger side after he observed the anomaly.
One of the doors of RST 7 had opened mid-way, while the train was in motion. But none of the passengers were asked to vacate the train. Thankfully, no commuters fell out of the train on the road.
'Constant-Velocity Joint' of RST 8 broke at VN Purav Marg & RC Marg Junction Monorail Station and had to be brought to the car depot at the speed of 2-5 kmph only after evacuating passengers.
Monorail consultant Louis Berger shot off a letter to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) flagging the need to replace Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems at Wadala Depot and Bhakti Park Monorail Stations as they have not functioned as 'desired'.