NEW DELHI: It’s not the old rail infrastructure that is bothering Indian Railways but newly laid tracks. An analysis has found that more train accidents have occurred on newly laid infrastructure, raising concern about the quality of work done. Human error was found to be the main cause behind failure of the infrastructure.
The analysis by the Railway Board found that out of 14 train accidents attributed to rail fracture or weld failure in 2016, only in one case had the rail completed its stipulated life. In 2017, four accidents were attributed to rail fracture, and in two cases the rail had not completed even 25 per cent of its stipulated life.
Thirty-five per cent of rail fractures, one of the major causes of derailment, are occurring on rails that have completed less than 25 per cent of their stipulated life, and 67 per cent weld failures are occurring when the welded joint is carrying just 10 per cent of its load capacity.
Expressing concern over derailments last year, Railway Board Member Engineering, M K Gupta, said, “The root cause of breach of safety always has a human angle, and even material failure has a human angle in root cause.”
“The officers and staff have not kept pace with the development of technology,” he said in a recent meeting.
Railway Board has now directed the 17 zonal railways to prepare a three -tier action plan —immediate (target March 18); short term target (March 19); and long term (3-5 years) — to improve safety.