Mumbai: Matheran bound train derails; passengers raise safety questions

Updated: Dec 22, 2018, 15:08 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar | Mumbai

The railways have put up gabion walls and also upgraded old locomotives with digitised controls and doubled the horse power

The AC coach of the train derailed
The AC coach of the train derailed

There seems to be a derailment a day on the narrow gauge Matheran Hill Railway. On Friday morning, the latest attraction — the air-conditioned coach introduced on the line earlier this month — derailed, leading to disruption of services for a while. The train had derailed on Thursday afternoon, too.

"The train derailed near Jummapatti at 10.35am and was put back on track on 11.50am. Two wheels of the AC coach went off track, but there were no injuries or major damage," a CR spokesperson confirmed. The train had also derailed on Thursday afternoon around 3.30pm, making this the fourth derailment post-monsoon. While it was the luggage coach that went off tracks on Thursday, on Friday it was the first class coach that derailed.

Passengers and activists have raised questionS on the safety of passengers and the quality of work done by Central Railway. A few others blamed the new coaches and engines, which seem to be leading to derailments.

"To quell the controversy, the Central Railway announced an inquiry by a high-level officer, but everyone knows that these reports are never made or even if made under pressure, never revealed to the public. The train has been running just fine for 100 years, so what has suddenly gone wrong with it," asked a regular commuter, Sunil Mehta. Central Railway has been continuously upgrading the tracks and trains on the line.

The 1907-opened railway line is already on the tentative UNESCO world heritage list and once it opens, trains will run at a speed of 13kmph. The railways have put up gabion walls and also upgraded old locomotives with digitised controls and doubled the horse power.

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