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Railways must take care of existing rakes

Yesterday, this paper ran a front page report about how the Railways was planning to resurrect a train that was purchased in 2011 and was expected to run at speeds of 160 kmph.

After a trial run though, it was dumped in the car shed. Now, just after the Railway Budget announcement, the Railways is planning to repair this abandoned rake, which now stands at the car shed in Mumbai Central.

The report stated that a day after plans to launch the country’s first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad were announced, there were instructions sent to staff personnel at the car shed to start repairing that rake. What is important is that the rake which was assembled with expensive German parts in 2011 was gathering dust till now.

This is one more instance of a white elephant costing the taxpayers money. It is also important for the Railways to clean up their act with the existing rakes which need attention and repairs, before launching ambitious plans for other projects.

What is befuddling is that parts of the abandoned rake had been taken out and used in other rakes. So, the high-speed rake would now need new parts. This is yet another waste of money for the disused rake.

Now, one needs an investigation, and one which works judiciously to find out why this rake was unused, the total cost of money that has been wasted on this rake and why it was allowed to lie unused for more that two years, gathering dust in a car shed with nobody even aware or concerned enough to ask what was being done with it.

Authorities explained that the trials on the rake were not successful the last time out, and repairs are being done so that it can once again be used in trials and then seen if it can be run. It is ironic that there is talk and plans about hi-speed trains and jumping to the next level of commuting, when existing infrastructure is treated so shoddily.

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