MUMBAI: A day after a motorman of a Churchgate-bound train jumped the red signal at Borivli, Western Railway personnel said the signal should be shifted. Western Railway had to cancel 24 services in the wake of Wednesday’s incident. The motorman J K Saha was immediately taken off duty and an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause.
A motorman said, “More than a year ago, the signal on platform 5 was moved from the left side of the track to the right. Motormen are comfortable with signals on the left. In fact, we have complained to the administration about the confusion at Borivli.” “A motorman loco inspector, who is on the signal-sighting committee, had refused to approve the location of the signal on the grounds that led to Wednesday incident. If the administration had paid attention to the problem identified by the Mumbai division motorman loco inspector, the signal would not have come at the place,” he added.
The signal-sighting panel comprises members from the signal department, traffic department and an inspector from the motorman loco cadre. “The administration, in order to have its way, invited a loco inspector from Valsad to complete the formality of selecting the point. This loco inspector approved the point on the basis mail/express train, whose engine halt a few feet away from this objectionable signal point. For mail/express train the sighting is clear but the problem is acute for those piloting local trains,” he claimed.
The motorman said, “The position of the signal on at this location is such at when the train enter Platform No. 5 his sight falls on the signal meant for train on Platform No. 6.”
The motorman also said that a repeat signal at the rear end of the train is also provided at Platform No. 5 at Borivali. A motorman on the condition of anonymity said, “The guard should have seen the signal being red aspect and warned the motorman from starting the train. Till 2003, the guard were also liable to observe the repeat signal. This dual-checking system was done away without any logical reasons.”
The motorman said that the punishing the erring staff is not going to solve the problem. The solution lies in making the system fool proof.”
Friday’s incident could have proved serious had the train on Platform No. 6 also pulled out of the station. This would have resulted in side collision. The other possibility was of the train coming out of Platform No 5 getting derailed as the cross-over point was set for forward movement of train moving out of Platform No. 6. Fortunately, the erring train did not reach the cross over point. The erring motorman managed to apply emergency brake soon after three compartments had crossed the signaling pole.