CR looks for cracks on tracks ahead of railway minister’s visit
Three days ahead of Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Mumbai visit, 1,000 staff members of the Central Railways (CR) are inspecting railway tracks to ensure there are no derailments, reports Shashank Rao.mumbai Updated: Nov 19, 2009 01:49 IST
Prevention is better than punishment. That’s what railway officials believe.
Three days ahead of Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Mumbai visit, 1,000 staff members of the Central Railways (CR) are inspecting railway tracks to ensure there are no derailments.
Five incidents of derailment were reported in past few days.
The derailments not only disrupted train services but also left people injured.
Two local trains derailed at CST station on two consecutive days while two outstation trains derailed at Bhiwandi and Jejuri near Pune.
The most recent was Wednesday when a minor fissure in the tracks at Badlapur delayed services.
At least 50 CR engineers have stepped out of their air-conditioned offices to be on field along with the maintenance staff, minutely monitoring the condition of tracks along their routes.
This is not only because of the recent train derailments and fractures in the tracks, but also because Banerjee’s visit on Saturday.
Sources said that the general manager has asked engineers across its five divisions — Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Bhusawal, Nagpur, Solapur and Pune — to monitor the situation.
“The expertise of these engineers will come in handy,” said CR Chief Public Relations Officer, S Mudgerikar.
Each engineer will supervise 200 gangmen and maintenance staff. Engineers will also have to monitor important junctions and crossovers apart from surrounding areas where derailment incidents recently occurred.
Thes engineers will also inform the schedule of maintenance and check whether there is a need for further improvement of tracks and examine the condition of road over bridges and foot over bridges.
Banerjee is flying in but a paranoid CR does not want to take any chances.
“We are also thinking of ways to detect tracks that are in bad condition. How to foresee quality is a major question,” said an official from the CR requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The CR usually uses a machine to send out sonar (sound navigation and ranging) waves to determine cracks in tracks.
Sounds created when these waves are sent along the tracks help detecting cracks.