Churchgate crash aftermath: 30 trains on WR to be cancelled every day
The Commissioner of Railway Safety has asked Western Railway to impose a speed limit of 25 kmph at Churchgate railway station for local trains entering the terminus, leading to cancellation of services
After the accident at Churchgate on June 28, when a local crashed through the buffers, authorities are now puling out all the stops to ensure that such a mishap does not happen again. But one such precautionary move which Western Railway (WR) plans to adopt could have severe repercussions for its 37 lakh commuters.
Watch video: Mumbai local train crashes into platform
Authorities feel that a second motorman might have been involved in switching off the braking system inside the train, their original suspicion immediately after the accident. File pic
The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) has asked the WR authorities to implement a speed restriction for trains entering Churchgate station at all four platforms. Sources said that the CRS has written a letter to WR after the Churchgate accident.
According to the recommendation, while entering the platforms, the speeds of locals will be brought down to 25 kmph. Currently, there is no speed limit for local trains before they enter terminus stations.
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So, every time a train arrives, the motorman normally enters at a speed of around 45 kmph, and gradually brings down the speed after the train enters the platform. This is done so that the punctuality of train services is maintained.
Sources added that WR might have to cancel at least 30 services every day (see table) 18 services in the morning hours and 12 services in the evening thus spelling trouble for commuters.
Every day, WR runs 1,306 train services and this cancellation will certainly have an impact. WR officials accepted that the punctuality of trains would be severely affected due to the new speed restriction proposed by CRS. “The implementation of speed restriction will result in cancellations, especially during peak hours,” said a WR official.
Moreover, WR is already working on yard re-modelling of Andheri station, which officials said would take at least a year to be completed. Authorities will begin shifting tracks at Andheri, and this will result in speed restrictions at this point too.
How did the mishap take place?
An internal inquiry into the accident is underway, where it seems that the motorman over-sped while entering the platform.
Since Monday, WR authorities have been probing the incident. On Wednesday, two more railway staffers were brought under the ambit of the inquiry a motorman who had rushed inside the motorman cabin of the ill-fated train, and the loco inspector who allegedly ordered him to go.
Sources said the authorities feel that the second motorman might have been involved in switching off the braking system inside the train, their original suspicion immediately after the accident. The report is expected to be out very soon.
Chetan Bakshi, Commissioner of Railway Safety
Currently there are no laid-down rules on speed of trains when they enter terminus stations. So now, I have suggested to them to implement speed restriction of 25 kmph and install AWS (Auxiliary Warning System) in the middle and end of platforms.