Tuesday, February 4, 2014

70% rail coaches in Kerala over 25 years old: Minister

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister Aryadan Muhammed has said that 70% railway coaches plying in the state are old and rusting.

Replying to a question in the assembly on Monday, the minister in charge of railway said most of these coaches were over 25 years old and were unfit for use. The state had written to the Union railway ministry to phase out such coaches in five years.

Though the minister's reply was in connection with an incident of a coach breaking into two near Alappuzha, it came a day after a coach of Kochuveli-Bangalore Express breaking into two while shunting at the Kochuveli railway station.

The minister said the state government had also asked the railways to upgrade the coach repairing units at Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam so that all major repair works could be undertaken here itself. He alleged that the coaches being received as replacement for those sent to Chennai for repair works were too old.

A coach of the Ernakulam-Kayamkulam passenger train had, in 2012, partially dislodged from its undercarriage while coming to a halt at Alappuzha. The passengers in the coach had managed to jump out. After preliminary investigations, railway authorities had revealed that a connector joining the wheel trolley and the body had broken off because of rust.

In Sunday's incident, the S-14 coach of Kochuveli-Bangalore Express had broken into two an hour prior to the commencement of its journey to Bangalore. There was no casualty as it happened at the shunting yard.


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