Central Railway blames speed limits, slopes for engine failures
What have steep gradients or slopes got to do with failures in engines lugging numerous coaches, and breakdowns in local trains? A lot, Central Railway (CR) officials think.
CR officials claim even the Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) or the local trains, have been seeing frequent breakdowns. File pic for representation
They have blamed the failures and breakdowns — especially those on the Kalyan-Kasara stretch, where rail lines are said to have steep gradients — on this factor, as trains undergo stress while plying on slopes.
The CR officials said that the stretch between Kalyan and Kasara rises as it goes northwards. Plus, there are speed restrictions as well, levied due to some maintenance work or the other.
“Whenever the speed restrictions are less than 30 kmph, the locomotives pulling several coaches of a long distance train or freight train, at times face technical failures,” said Amitabh Ojha, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), CR. The authorities claim that these engines struggle and, at times, there are technical issues.
Earlier last month, the diesel-engine of a goods train got stranded between Badlapur and Vangani stations. Apart from this, even the Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) or the local trains, have been seeing frequent breakdowns. For instance on October 30, a battery of a local train collapsed near Chinchpokli station.
“Steep gradients cannot be a reason for technical failure of engines. These are being maintained poorly,” said another CR official. The CR authorities also carried out surprise checks at all maintenance carsheds: namely Kalyan, Kalwa, Sanpada and Tilak Nagar.
The officials want the loco sheds to give weekly reports and updates about maintenance activities carried out, after frequent breakdowns. Sources said, that, in fact, they have asked that every loose nut, bolt and spring found during maintenance and repairs be mentioned in the reports. The employees will also have to describe every technical issue in detail in their reports.