MUMBAI: He survived a derailment only to get stuck in a local train for eight hours as incessant rain brought Mumbai and its suburbs to a grinding halt yesterday.
For 54-year-old Sukhdev Meshram, a passenger on the Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express that derailed between Maharashtra's Vasind and Asangaon stations early morning yesterday, it was a day he will never forget.
After the accident, caused by a landslide, Meshram walked till the Vasind station and took an auto till Kalyan where he boarded a Mumbai-bound local train on the Central Railway network.
"After the derailment, I saw that no trains were operating on the track so I walked to the nearest station and took an auto to Kalyan," Meshram told reporters.
But home in Mumbai was still many hours away.
"After spending almost eight hours in the local train, we hadn't even reached Sion station. There was no announcement, neither did anyone inform us about the status of the train amid the heavy downpour," he said.
A day later, it was not much different for 40-year-old Kedarnath Bhaskar Shinde, who works as a security person in an office in south Mumbai and lives near Kalyan.
"I normally take around an hour and half. Today, I traversed the distance in seven hours," he told PTI.
"I left home at 4.30 am and at 5.30 am boarded a local train at Kalyan. I got down at Thane at 6 am, had to change platforms to board the next local which reached Kurla at 7.15 am. I waited for the next train which arrived at 8.15 am."
However, that train had moved barely two kilometres when it stopped.
"Passengers got down and I followed suit. I then walked till Dadar station. The journey took me an hour," Shinde said, recapping his morning journey.
"As there were no trains proceeding from Dadar to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, I went to the Western Railway platform and took a train for Churchgate, where I reached at 12.30 pm," Shinde said.
Torrential rain pounded the metropolis throughout the day yesterday. The city recorded 298 mm of rainfall, the highest in a day in August since 1997.