NEW DELHI: Indian Railways is mulling a new policy to do away with mandatory clearance from the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) to increase the speed of trains as part of Mission Raftaar 2022.
The Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) under the Ministry of Railways has proposed modifications in the speed certification procedure for enhancing the speed of trains.
During a presentation before the Railway Board last month, the RDSO listed four trials—oscillation trial (for track worthiness), emergency braking distance, coupler force, and controllability—needed for getting safety clearance for increasing the speed of trains.
The modifications proposed by the RDSO include “oscillation trial up to 145 kmph, coupler force and controllability trials at speeds greater than 130 kmph, and coupler force and electronic brake distribution trials up to 100 kmph for goods and up to 130 kmph for coach trains with the approval of Director General and without CRS sanction”.
The CRS comes under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Railways has been complaining about delays in getting clearance from the CRS, which deals with matters pertaining to the safety of rail travel and train operation and is charged with certain statutory functions as laid down in the Railways Act (1989) which are of an inspectorial, investigatory and advisory nature.
Envisaged in 2017, Mission Raftaar 2022 includes the target of doubling the average speed of freight trains and increasing the average speed of all non-suburban passenger trains by 25 kmph in five years.
The principal routes identified under Mission Raftaar include routes on the Golden Quadrilateral and diagonals, namely Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Howrah, Howrah-Chennai, Chennai-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai, and Howrah-Mumbai. These six routes carry 58 per cent of the freight traffic and 52 per cent of the passenger traffic with a share of only 16 per cent of the network.