CR quick-fix hurts safety | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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CR quick-fix hurts safety

Two Central Railway trains derailed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) within two days of each other, at exactly the same spot.

mumbai Updated: Nov 14, 2009 00:42 IST
Shashank Rao

Two Central Railway trains derailed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) within two days of each other, at exactly the same spot.

This is because after the first case, on Wednesday, when a Kalyan-CST train derailed at around 10.30 pm due to a loose tongue rail, CR simply pushed it back in place, instead of replacing it.

The same tongue rail gave way on Friday, when the last two coaches of a CST-bound Kasara local derailed, leaving two people with minor injuries. A tongue rail is the X-shaped metal frame that connects two crossover tracks. Friday’s derailment left services severely disrupted, with trains running as late as 45 minutes, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.

Commuter injuries in both cases were minor but they have raised serious doubts about CR’s approach to maintenance and its overall safety standards. “The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) will inquire into the derailment and submit a report in 15 days,” said CR’s chief public relations officer S C Mudgerikar.

The quick-fix job on the tongue rail was reportedly in anticipation of Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit. The visit was later cancelled.

After Friday’s incident, CR shut down platforms 5, 6 and 7 which support fast local trains, and opened platforms 8 and 9, which service outstation trains.

The derailed coaches were removed by 12.30 pm and the damaged overhead cables repaired.

CR replaced the entire crossover section of track with a new one. Until CRS releases its report, the new crossover will not be used by trains coming into CST – they will enter the station on a single track without changing lines.

Services finally resumed at 5 pm on platform 5, and by 5.30 pm on platforms 6 and 7.