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?Safe? coaches crash in final trial

THE FINAL trial of crash-worthy coaches conducted by the Research Designs and Standard Organisation (RDSO) at Alamnagar Railway Station, on Tuesday suffered a setback due to flaws in designing of the life-saving coaches. This was evident from a prompt reaction by one of the senior RDSO officers soon after the trial-crash as ?below expectation and needs fine-tuning?.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 01:24 IST

THE FINAL trial of crash-worthy coaches conducted by the Research Designs and Standard Organisation (RDSO) at Alamnagar Railway Station, on Tuesday suffered a setback due to flaws in designing of the life-saving coaches. This was evident from a prompt reaction by one of the senior RDSO officers soon after the trial-crash as “below expectation and needs fine-tuning”.

The RDSO had been designing the crash-worthy coaches in collaboration with the USA-based Transportation Technology Centre Incorporated (TTCI).

Unlike previous trial on February 17 last, the final trial was conducted with two SLR coaches at a speed of above 60 km per hour. In the previous trial, only one coach was put to test at 60 km per speed, but on Tuesday, two SLR coaches were rammed into the stationary wagon “wall.”

The impact, with which the two coaches rammed the wagon, was so high that the gate of the SLR coach was engulfed in the crash, which the designers never expected. Ideally, the design was such that the impact of collision was absorbed in a toilet portion of a coach and prevented from reaching the passengers.

The officer said the during previous trial, only one coach was used so the momentum was less, subsequently, the damage during the collision too was less, but in Tuesday’s trial, the momentum generated by both the SLR coaches was high, therefore, the damage was extensive.

Another important aspect of the research on crash-worthy coaches was to reduce the chances of coaches mounting on each other.

However, director general of RDSO Dr A K Rao claimed that the trial was a success, but admitted that fine-tuning was required.

Regarding more trials, he said this could be ascertained only after the detailed study of trial. A computer has been installed to further analyse the trial. The DG said crash could not be prevented, it would take place, but the idea was to minimise the impact so that human lives could be saved.

IT may be mentioned that a crash-worthy train with 29 coaches was ready for a run with its origin from Patna in about a month. The destination has not been decided so far. The rake was ready at the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) Kapoorthala. What remains to be seen whether this setback would delay the run.

First Published: Feb 22, 2006 01:24 IST