Sunday, May 8, 2016

THE HINDU TODAY'S PAPER » TAMIL NADUCHENNAI, May 7, 2016



The Commissioner of Railway Safety, South Eastern Railway, will make an inspection of the spot at Pattabhiram where the locomotive and two compartments of Chennai – Trivandrum Mail derailed after colliding with an Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) on Thursday evening.

“It most likely seems to be an individual’s fault. We have been counselling loco (locomotive) pilots regularly,” said a senior railway official, adding that the Commissioner of Railway Safety would be conducting a probe on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Compartments re-railed

On Friday, services between Chennai Central, including suburban EMU trains on the Chennai–Arakkonam route, were affected for the second day.

While the two compartments of the Mail were re-railed and removed from the spot early on Friday morning, the locomotive was cleared only after noon, officials said. Southern Railway operated only hourly suburban EMU services between Moore Market Complex and Arakkonam for most part of the day. Normal services were restored only by 7.30 p.m., officials said.

While senior officials in the signal and telecommunication wing ruled out any signal failure, sources in Southern Railway said that the signal near the point where the incident took “had continuous visibility, but with a potential to deceive drivers who are not familiar with the route.”

According to office-bearers of All India Loco Running Staff Association, there is a possibility that the signal had misguided the driver.

Stating that with rapid advancements in technology and increase in signals, drivers had to pay close and constant attention to the signals. He said that in yesterday’s incident, it was clear that the locomotive pilot had tried hard to stop the train and prevent a collision with the EMU.

Overnight on trains

Many passengers who were returning in long-distance trains spent Thursday night inside their compartments.

“We were returning from Tirupati in Saptagiri Express and it stopped beyond Arakkonam. We did not have anything with us and there was nothing in the train either. We reached Chennai Central only 4 a.m.,” said A.J.Rahul of Egmore.

The Southern Railway also issued Rs. 25,000 as ex-gratia to Abehith Neko and Sathish, two passengers who were travelling in the EMU, and were injured and Rs. 5,000 each to Anandan and Ponmozhain (EMU passengers) and Mani and Thilaga Mani (Chennai – Trivandrum Mail), passengers who were also injured.

Among the trains that were rescheduled on Friday were the Chennai – Coimbatore Shatabdi Express and Kovai Express.

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