Damaged knuckle decouples 18 coaches of TN train 

There were 1,800 passengers on the train and no one was injured. The train was delayed by two hours and 40 minutes putting passengers in trouble.

Published: 07th November 2022 04:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th November 2022 04:09 AM   |  A+A-

There were 1,800 passengers on Cheran Express at the time of the incident. No one was injured. The train was delayed by two hours and 40 minutes | Express

Express News Service

CHENNAI  After a coupler connecting S7 and S8 coaches of the Chennai-Coimbatore Cheran Express got detached due to a damaged knuckle, six coaches attached to the locomotive got unstuck leaving 18 coaches behind at Tiruvallur station on Saturday night. As the train was stopped immediately, a major accident was averted, sources said.

There were 1,800 passengers on the train and no one was injured. The train was delayed by two hours and 40 minutes putting passengers in trouble. Southern Railway officials said a high-level inquiry will be ordered into the incident.

Around 10.45pm on Saturday when the Coimbatore-bound train from Chennai was entering the slow line (suburban line) from the fast line (express line) at Tiruvallur station, passengers of coach S7, S8 and S9 heard a loud noise. About 18 coaches starting from S7 got decoupled and were stranded at the fourth platform of the station.

An assistant loco pilot who noticed a sudden drop in the pressure gauge of the locomotive stopped the train and alerted the Tiruvallur station manager. In the meantime, six coaches moved about 100 
metres leaving behind S7 and 17 succeeding coaches. 

During inspection, it was found that the knuckle in the coupler that links coaches S8 and S7 was damaged leading to the decoupling of the coaches. Soon, a team of staff and officials from Basin Bridge coach maintenance depot and engineering departments reached Tiruvallur station around 12.30am by Gorakhpur-Kochuveli Raptisagar Express. The coupler was replaced and the train left the station at 1.25am, official sources said.

‘Cause to be confirmed after probe’

According to sources, primary maintenance of Cheran Express was carried out at the Coimbatore depot. The maximum loading capacity of the coupler is 47 tonnes for passenger trains and 59 tonnes for goods trains. The LHB rake of Cheran Express has got a rake link in Thiruvananthapuram- Chennai mail. The train which reached Chennai from Thiruvananthapuram was on its way to Coimbatore (as Cheran Express) where the pit line maintenance was scheduled on Sunday.

The incident could be the result of a manufacturing defect of the coupler or negligence during coach maintenance. However, railway officials said the cause of the incident could be confirmed only after the inquiry. S Baskar, a rail enthusiast from Tiruvallur said, “Decoupling of coaches would have resulted in huge accident had any express train been running behind closely. Railways should conduct random examination of coach couplers.”

In March 2018, a suburban train decoupled leaving a bunch of coaches behind at Urapakkam. During an investigation, it was found that the incident was an outcome of a defect in the coach coupler. The rake also was overdue for periodic overhauling (PoH) maintenance. The railways could not take any action against the supplier as the material was out of warranty. Ganesh, DRM, Chennai Division, said, “Every incident is investigated to find out the root cause and fix accountability, wherever required.”


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  • g.chandrasekar

    southern railway remained backward in terms of maintenance too. God has saved the railway from a major accident. It is time that the chronic neglect the railways by the railway board ends.
    4 months ago reply
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