Konkan Railway to test entire 738 kilometre Route length with Ultrasound Flaw Detectors

Ultrasonic Flaw Detection of Rail Tracksमडगाँव Madgaon (MAQ): Asserting that passenger train operation on Konkan railway is posing a danger to the public using the service in view of the derailment of the goods trains earlier this month, the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) has told the Konkan Railway Corporation to get the entire Konkan railway route tested with Ultrasound Flaw Detectors (USFD) by trained departmental USFD operators.

The CRS has further issued strict directions to the Konkan railway to impose speed restrictions of 75 kmph on the entire KR route till USFD testing of entire KR route is completed by departmental USDF operator having valid RDSO’s certificate and after removing all defective rails and safety certificate is jointly signed by officials before submitting the same to the Commission.

The CRS has further recommended introduction of round-the-clock patrolling on the pattern of cold weather patrolling along the entire length of the Konkan railway.

While calling for safety precautions at tunnels, bridges, tunnels, bridge approaches and high embankments, the SRS has told the KR to set up a high-level Director-level committee to address all issues of safety. “It was a matter of chance that the train which derailed on rail fracture was a goods train. It would have been a disaster if a passenger train had met with an accident,” the report said.

The CRS said that the USFD operator of the firm engaged by the KRC was not having knowledge of USFD manual, adding, “it appears that they had not taken formal training in USFD testing of rails and welds as per stipulation of manual.”

The CRS noted that KRC officials were simply signing USDF testing report without doing test check and verifying factual position on reports submitted by the agency. “As USFD testing has been outsourced, engineering officials and officers are not showing concern about proper USFD testing/test check manual which has resulted in the accident.

“USFD testing of rail, which fractured was done on May 8, 2014. During testing, one defect was found in the rail, which fractured in the October 7 accident. Both defects noticed in the rail, which fractured were detectable during USFD testing on May 8. Due to lack of knowledge and incompetency of USFD operators, these defects were not detected in USFD testing on May 8,” the CRS report said.

Following the development, the Konkan railway employees Union has demanded that the KR management take the issue of passenger railway safety seriously. Union president, Subhash Malgi told the media that the Chairman cum Managing Director B P Tayal cannot escape the responsibility of safety in view of the report submitted by the Commissioner of Railway Safety.