A major fire broke out at a warehouse on Foreshore Road in Howrah district of West Bengal on Friday, creating panic in the locality.
Passengers scheduled to avail long or short distance journeys might face difficulties as 41 mail or express trains and 31 pairs of suburban trains, under the Howrah Division of the Eastern Railway are to remain cancelled tomorrow. The cancellations come as a result of the mega block to be taken on 9 February for the dismantling of road overbridge No. 213 at Burdwan station.
The RoB is said to have been built in 1900/1901 and is over 100 years old, according to the divisional railway manager, Manish Jain of Howrah division. Since the bridge is quite old it is unsafe and was being used by people posing danger. In terms of train operations, new designs of rakes are being rolled with increased heights. “As the height of the bridge was lower, there were problems even while operating trains. Almost every week the overhead equipment had to be switched off and the rake would be moved by using another engine, resulting in train delays and affecting services of suburban trains. Also, it has smaller spans which are seven in number, including three girder spans. As the spans are smaller, the space for tracks is lesser. The railway board had sanctioned the replacement in 2009-2010 and the new cable-stayed RoB at Burdwan station was commissioned in 2019,” informed the DRM.
According to Mr Jain, with the dismantling of the RoB, the aspect of unsafe passage would be solved.
“It would also help in train operations by allowing laying of more tracks, including that of the upcoming dedicated freight corridor. Apart from this, the dismantling of the RoB would also enable expansion of platforms. The work on the bridge is to be carried out in phases. In the first stage, the bitumen concrete slabs on the road are to be placed. In the next stage, the girder is to be removed.
On Sunday, girders of Line three to five were removed. In the next phase, which is ongoing, a mega block is to be taken following which 17 pair trains in the main line 14 pair trains in the chord line 41 mail or express trains are to be cancelled.
The block, according to the divisional railway, was earlier planned for three months but was later minimized to 24 days.
The dismantling started on 26 January and is to continue till 21 February.
After the mega block, even as the work on the RoB would be carried out, cancellations of trains would be of fewer in numbers, informed the DRM.
Trains like Vande Bharat and Rajdhani are to be operated without cancellations.
The railways is also to run special services as an alternative for the passengers