Panaji : Ten bogies of the Lokamanya Tilak Terminus-Ernakulum Duronto Express derailed near Balli railway station in South Goa today, but no casualties have been reported so far.
‘Ten coaches of the train derailed at 6.30 am near Balli station. No passengers were injured,’ Konkan Railway Corporation Limited spokesman Baban Ghatge said.
The train had left Lokmanya Tilak Terminal in Mumbai and was heading towards Ernakulum. Ghatge said that trains on Konkan.
Railway routes will be delayed due to the derailment, while work is on to salvage the bogies which went off the track.
The Railways announced cancellation and diversion of some trains on the Konkan route following derailment of 10 coaches of Lokmanya Tilak—Ernakulam Duronto Express near Sarzora Tunnel between Madgaon and Balli stations in Karwar region.
Train No 12015, Madgaon—Ernakulam express, scheduled to leave Madgaon at 2130 hrs today has been cancelled.
Trains which have been diverted include Train No. 16337, Okha—Ernakulam Express scheduled to reach Ernakulam at 22.20 hrs today, Train No.02065, Mumbai CST—Ernakulam Premium special train scheduled to reach Ernakulam at 3 AM tomorrow morning, Train No.22634, Nizamuddin—Thiruvananthapuram central Weekly superfast express via Alappuzha scheduled to reach Thiruvananthapuram central at 02.30 am tomorrow and Tr.No.11097,Pune—Ernakulam express, Scheduled to reach Ernakulam junction at 04 am tomorrow.
Following the mishap, train No 56640 Mangalore-Madgaon and Train No 10216 Ernakulam-Madgaon will remain cancelled on Monday. Train number 22635 Madgaon-Mangalore; 70101 Madgaon-Karwar; 10215 Madgaon-Ernakulam and 56641 Madgaon-Mangalore and Train No. 12224 Ernakulam junction – Lokmanya Tilak Express were cancelled on Sunday.
Trains that were partially cancelled are: Train No 56640 Mangalore Central – Madgaon; Train No 12133 Mumbai CSTM- Mangalore Junction Express; Train No.12134 Mangalore Junction – Mumbai CSTM Express.
Train No 16337 Okha – Ernakulam; 02065 CSTM-Ernakulam; 22634 Nizamuddin-Trivandrum; 11097 Pune-Ernakulam and 16312 Kochuveli-Bikaner were diverted. Konkan Railway officials are working on war footing at the affected site for bringing about an early restoration. As many as 155 labourers and about 100 KR officials, including Director (Operating and Commercial) Sanjay Gupta – and the Principal Chief Engineer – Rajesh Agarwal, are at the site to attend to re-railment of coaches and restoration of the track under the guidance of CMD/KRCL, Bhanu Prakash Tayal.
Meanwhile, the passengers in the 10 coaches of the derailed train continued their journey by the unaffected coaches of the same train and buses as well. The Konkan Railway had arranged five buses for passengers and paid Rs 2,56,255 in refund to the passengers who did not wish to continue their journey by train. Though partial refund is admissible for remaining part of the journey which has been cancelled, the KRCL as a special gesture, has permitted full refund of the fare to the passengers.
Passengers may contact 022–27587939 for train inquiry. Train positions on the route can also be viewed on www.konkanrailway.com
GERMAN-DESIGNED COACHES PREVENT CASUALTIES
High-end coaches, manufactured with German technology, en sured there were no casualties on Konkan Railway (KR), when 10 compartments of the Kurla-Ernakulam Duronto Express derailed in a tunnel on Sunday. The commissioner of railway safety had, in October 2014, warned KR to improve safety standards after the derailment of a goods train. KR officials took up the task and later said they fixed all flaws, but Sunday’s mishap is the second major derailment on KR this year.
Hundreds of passengers on Sunday escaped when, at 6:24 am, the Duronto derailed in Sarzora-2 tunnel, near Balli station, south of Madgaon. Railway officials said there were no casualties though the train was travelling at 100 kmph as the German-designed coaches did not capsize due to their unique coupling method, which holds all coaches tight during such instances. “The savior of the day was the driver, who heard the noise and halted the train within 400 metres,” an official said.
This is the second major derailment on KR in 2015, after three coaches of Mangala Express derailed at Pen on March 1. In fact, following investigations into the derailment of a goods train near Chiplun in October 2014, Commissioner of Railway Safety Chetan Bakshi said that “passenger trains on Konkan Railway were a danger to public”. He drew up a detailed programme that capped the speed of trains to 75 kmph, after finding flaws in the manner the Ultrasound Flaw Detection (USFD) was monitored. USFD machines x-ray rails and reveal flaws in joints, wear and tear, etc. He said KR’s USFD operator did not have knowledge of the manual, and that officials signed USDF test reports without verification.
Following this, KR officials said they worked hard to fix all problems. Giving details, an official said that USFD testing was taken seriously and the entire route was tested by trained personnel who replaced all defective rails welds. Round-the-clock patrolling was done and charts detailing movement, direction and timings of patrollers were countersigned by station masters, cabin men, or gatemen. Each patrolman covered a 2 km stretch, inspecting the rail for fractures, gaps, etc. Precautions were also taken in tunnels and bridges. A high-level committee examined the implementation.
In December 2014, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu also ordered a safety audit of the entire 760 km route. This was done and after a satisfactory inspection, the speed restriction of 75 kmph was lifted by end 2014. Bakshi told on Sunday that KR had fulfilled all conditions.
Konkan Railway chairman and managing director Bhanu Pratap Tayal said that the commissioner’s remarks had been taken seriously. “We followed all guidelines and later conducted a safety audit, which showed there were no issues on KR,” Tayal told. “The cause of the derailment is under investigation,” he added.
A KR official said restoration of the line was top priority. “A team of 250 labourers and officials are busy restoring the line,” he said.