A preliminary inquiry has shown that the failure of a mechanical installation that guides trains from one track to another resulted in the derailment of the New Farakka Express in Uttar Pradesh last week, PTI reported. At least seven passengers died and up to 35 were injured after nine coaches and the train engine went off the tracks near Raebareli on October 11.
The Commission of Railway Safety, tasked with investigating the accident, released its preliminary report on Tuesday. It indicated that the train had been given a green signal to proceed despite the point failure. A point is situated at the juncture of two tracks, and a green signal to proceed is given only when the point creates a path for the train.
The commissioner of railway safety has recommended that the Railways should decide upon a reasonable time as well as reasonable number of attempts after which a point not responding to the given command from the control panel is declared as failed.
Soon after the derailment, the Indian Railways had suspended a signal inspector and an electrical signal maintainer.
The report also suggested that location boxes provided at each end of the yard in the point zone should be replaced by location huts where the signalling equipment should be housed. “The location huts must be kept under double lock”, said the report, in order to prevent any tampering in the signalling circuit.
The final report of commissioner of railway safety is expected in a couple of months.