A heap of debris, which apparently led to a long-distance train’s coach overturning near Lower Parel station, has been hailed as an unsung hero of the incident in a Western Railways (WR) report on the May 31 derailment of an old coach. It has also held at least three railway staff responsible for it.
Restoring the derailed coach led to the cancellation of 100 services. File pic
The report states, “If the driver was so careless, the coach could have travelled further in the absence of debris and derailed inside the Parel road over bridge, which could have been more catastrophic.”
When the coach derailed, it dragged for nearly 57 metres before stopping. WR sources said the debris prevented it from going any further, despite the train moving barely at 6-8 kmph, because of which the coach hit them and turned turtle.
The report also says it is ironic that the coach dragged after derailment at such a slow speed, despite the brake pipes being in order. “It seems that even the driver pulling this train was careless and even after it derailed, the train continued to run,” said another official.
WR authorities claim another possible reason behind the derailment could be weak coupling — that holds two coaches together — that led to buffer getting entangled.
Sources explained the buffers of adjacent coaches should be 75 mm in distance.
Authorities feel that in this case, the distance was more due to the weak coupling. Hence, when the second coach entered, the coach behind it supposedly lifted it, and derailed.
“I have to go through the report before making a comment. As per the process, we normally go by the recommendations made,” said Ravindra Bhakar, chief PRO, WR.