New Farakka Express derailment: Preliminary enquiry indicates glitch in train’s guiding system

New Delhi, Oct 17 (PTI)
A preliminary enquiry into the derailment of the New Farakka Express has indicated that it went off the tracks as a mechanical installation which guides trains from one track to the other had failed to respond, according to a report.

The report of the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) released Tuesday suggested the reason behind the derailment was that it was given a green signal despite the point failure. A point is at the juncture of two tracks – only when it creates a path for the train, a signal is given to it to go ahead. In this case, despite the point failure, the train was given a green signal, the report suggested.

The commissioner of railway safety, who is investigating the accident, has recommended that the railways should decide a reasonable time as well as a reasonable number of attempts after which a point, not responding to the command given from contrail panel, is to be declared as failed.

Five people died and around 30 were injured when five coaches of the New Farakka Express derailed near Rae Bareilly on October 10. The report not only made the Engineering department take responsibility but also indicated that the signaling and the Telecom department too take the onus of the accident. It has listed measures that should be taken to avoid tampering of signaling circuit.

It has also asked that drivers be trained to use the independent loco brake in case of an emergency only when it is completely unavoidable. The final report of the CRS is expected in a couple of months which will pin responsibility on departments and officials, sources said.

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