NEW DELHI: The government on Friday said the number of train accidents has come down by 42 per cent over the last one year.
"Number of train accidents have been continuously decreasing from 135 in 2014-15 to 107 in 2015-16 and down to 104 in 2016-17," Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
He said from April 1 to November 30 this year, a total of 49 consequential train accidents took place in comparison to 85 in the corresponding period of the previous year.
"It is an improvement of 42 per cent over last year," Gohain said.
Stressing on the safety measures taken by the railways, the Minister said that for track renewal, additional funds are being provided through Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) and mega traffic blocks are being arranged.
For 2017-18, 3,600 km of track renewal has been targeted, he said.
He also said that the railways is using Ultrasonic Flaw Detection machines for testing rails.
The Minister further said that the Train Protection and Warning System has been operationalised on 342 RKMs -- 50 RKMs on Chennai-Gummidipundi Suburban section of southern railways, 25 RKMs on Dum Dum-Kavi Subhash section of Kolkata Metro, 200 RKMs on Hazrat Nizamuddin-Agra Section of Northern Railway and North Central Railways and 67 RKMs on Basin Bridge-Arrakkonam section of Southern Railways.
"Beside TPWS system, the Train Collision Avoidance System is being taken on a limited section of 250 km on Lingamapalli-Vikarbad-Wadi-Bidar section of South Central railway," he said.
The Minister also said that Railways has decided to completely switch over to the manufacture of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches from April 1, 2018 and stop the manufacturing of Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches.
"Around 3,000 LHB coaches shall be manufactured every year from April 1, 2018 as against average of 1,000 LHB coaches in five years," Gohain said.
"It has also been planned to retrofit around 32,000 existing ICF coaches having a life upto 15 years and having screw coupling with (centre buffer coupling) in next five years," Gohain added.