Increasing technology and shocking train accidents

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Of course Balasore The train accident in the country is one of the worst accidents in the world. Not only this, but do not even remember that three trains collided like this ever in the country? One truth that has come out from the accident is very sad and shocking in which, apart from the reserve bogies, the deaths of passengers in the general bogies also took place. More than that, as usual, the accident happened just before reaching the station. Before reaching a station, both the up and down tracks are divided into several loop tracks for the convenience of passengers, taking stopping trains to the platform and a further straight track for goods and non-stop trains. Here, a slight mistake in the condition and monitoring of trains going ahead or coming from behind turns into accidents, this is what happened. Of course, new advanced and latest technology is being developed daily for the operation of trains. Despite this, its accidents leave equally deep wounds.

Actually, this accident happened near Bahanaga railway station when Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express (12841), and Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal-Howrah Superfast Express (12864) and goods train collided with each other. The Coromandel Express derailed and collided with a standing goods train, the coaches fell and people started running here and there to save their lives. At the same time, Yeshvantpur Howrah Superfast Express (12864) coming on the other track came and collided with both the trains that fell earlier. Due to this, the form of the accident became gruesome and heart-wrenching. Many people who ran to save their lives also became victims. In the morning, when pictures started coming from the drones, the painful scenes that gave goosebumps made me more scared. While the pictures inside the bogies were extremely painful. Someone’s head was separated from the torso, someone’s hands and feet and mutilated body. On top of the goods train, the coaches of the passenger trains climbed up to 50-55 feet above each other in a zig-zag position. Many coaches were thrown hundreds of meters away. Both the trains were full to capacity i.e. carrying 1750 passengers with a total capacity of 3500 passengers, running separately but at full speed. Hundreds lost their lives and became victims of accidents. This is the biggest accident in the last 20 years.

Last year itself, there was a lot of talk about speedy work on the auto brake system in the Zero Rail Accident Mission. Train Protection and Warning i.e. TPWS technology has been hyped. The system was described in which even if a train jumps the red signal by mistake, this warning system will stop it. The device will monitor the movements of the loco pilot including brake, horn, throttle handle. If any loco pilot does not respond or blinks, this system will automatically activate and apply brakes. If the speed of the trains exceeds the set speed and the red signal is shown, the system will automatically activate if the loco pilot does not get the response and will stop the engine by applying brakes gradually. Even bigger irony or joke on this accident is that just a day before, on June 1, the Ministry of Railways organized a big thinking camp on train safety. Strongly advocated for new technologies. Focused on making rail travel safe and comfortable and claims that trains equipped with armor technology cannot have accidents with each other. Even if these two trains come face to face, this technology will automatically push them backwards, meaning the train will stop moving forward.

But see the misfortune that this big accident happened within a few hours of the issue of Kavach coming to the fore. Approval has been received from the Railway Board to install Kavach system on 34,000 km of rail tracks across the country. It is to be installed on the busiest rail track by the year 2024. The technology of this armor is to be started on the railway tracks of the entire country with the help of Research Design and Standard Organization ie RDAO. However, according to the answer given by the Railway Minister in the Rajya Sabha, this technology has been installed on 1455 routes of South Central Railway. Rs 133 crore was spent on this in the year 2021-22 while there is a provision to spend Rs 272.30 crore in 2022-2023. Railway is also implementing TPWS system in train which is a system of train safety and warning system which can reduce accidents. In this, every railway signal will be visible on the screen in the cab of the engine. The loco pilot shall not miss any signal in spite of inclement weather due to thick fog, rain or any other reason. The exact speed of the train shall also be known so that he can control the speed in inclement weather.

These days, when the shining pictures of the Vande Bharat train launch are in front in the country, meanwhile the black truth of such accidents at least slaps. Obviously people will ask the question whether the operation of only luxury trains is a priority in the country and no attention is paid to the trains and tracks of the common people? Even if it becomes a matter of political debate, the condition of common passenger vehicles in the country is not good. It is also necessary to pay attention to the facilities of the common travelers of the country. In the most profitable railway zone, South East Central Railway’s entire focus is on coal transportation only. This zone has proved to be the worst in passenger service. Hardly any vehicle runs on its right here. Bilaspur-Katni rail route has started being called cursed for passenger facilities. After the commissioning of most part of the third line, there was a lot of talk of increasing the facilities, they turned out to be meaningless. Running late by 3-4 hours for important and long distance trains is common and it is not surprising to run late by even 8 to 10 hours. For the sake of coal, up to the main platform is converted into a coal siding. Amlai station of Bilaspur rail zone is the evidence whose main platform was sacrificed for siding. At present, this accident, which happened near a densely populated area, 22 km from Balasore, has raised many questions regarding the safety of the train and more passengers.
Rituparna Dave

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