CCTV cameras to find out why Matheran train is accident-prone

Updated: Feb 14, 2019, 17:31 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar

Have been installed on front of engine, near wheels, between coaches and at every possible point that sees jerks and changes while train moves

CCTV cameras to find out why Matheran train is accident-prone
Central Railway is closely monitoring the train's movement to avoid any untoward incident. Pics/Santosh Perne

A spate of derailments on the narrow-gauge Matheran Hill rail line in the recent past has forced the Central Railway (CR) to put in place a system of CCTV cameras that would help them closely monitor the toy train's movement from every possible angle. The cameras have been placed on the front of the engine, near the wheels, between coaches and at every possible point, which face jerks and changes during the train's movement.

Matheran Hill Rail

A CR official said, "The Railways are now closely monitoring the train's movement so as to avoid any untoward incident." Sources from the CR administration said that they have been studying the technical aspects of the train for some time. "A team from the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) and a technical consultant of the Railways recently visited Matheran to investigate the recent derailments," a CR spokesperson said. "The multi-disciplinary team has conducted a comprehensive technical audit of the train to analyse the operational/technical issues. The issues that have been identified for audit include those related to rail coaches, locomotives and tracks," he added.

Matheran Hill Rail

Hussain Peerbhoy, the grandson of Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy, who built the Matheran Railway line as a family enterprise more than a century ago, had said that the CR changed the original design of the coaches and its seating arrangement.

The family further mentioned that according to the old design, the coaches were square shaped and had a fixed row of horizontal seats on either side with a small door in the centre. This arrangement limited movement of people. However, according to them, the new coaches are wider and have a seating arrangement like that of buses, allowing free movement of people. Hence, the coaches often lose balance, they added.

Even though the line has been facing loses, the Railways have invested Rs 18 crore for upgrading it. They have installed gabion walls and upgraded locomotives with digitised controls and double horsepower. These have also been equipped with air brakes.

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