Sunday, November 6, 2016

By Richa Sharma | Published: 05th November 2016 

The Spanish Talgo coaches


NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Railways is embroiled in a tussle with the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS), which deals with safety of rail travel and train operations, over trials of Spanish Talgo coaches in India. While CRS has questioned the Railways’ going ahead with trials without its clearance last month, the Railway Board has cited a law to bypass it, which is seen as an unprecedented move.

CRS has questioned the Railway Board on how trials were conducted without its permission. The Railways responded by saying “these trials were for the limited purpose of assessing the time savings and not for certifying the maximum permissible speed of Talgo coaches”, and in such scenario, its consent was not needed.

According to the Railway Board, the decision to go ahead with trials without CRS’ permission was based on unanimous clearance by all Board members to validate the savings in travel time with Talgo trains on the Delhi-Mumbai section. The Board has also said that due certification will be done separately, if a decision is taken to introduce this new stock in service in the Indian Railways.

“Approval of full Board was accorded to the Board Memorandum, which in turn is the final authority in all matters of Indian railways. So there is no point in bringing out this issue again and again. Moreover, now the trails are over in all respects,” the Board said.

Trials of nine Talgo coaches were conducted on the Delhi-Mumbai, Bareilly-Moradabad and Palwal-Mathura stretches. The coaches clocked 12 hours between Delhi-Mumbai, nearly hours lesser than taken by the superfast Rajdhani Express between the two cities. The speed was achieved on existing tracks.
“Railways has been taking measures to reduce travel time of trains, and these include upgrading infrastructure such as increasing doubling and tripling of tracks on busy routes. Seeking permission from CRS is a very long process, and as trials were held without passengers, the Board decided to go ahead,” said a senior railway ministry official.

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