Railway officials asked to inspect tracks at 3AM during winter

In wake of the recent train accidents, the railways has instructed its officials, especially those posted in places that experience intense cold conditions, to inspect the tracks at 3 in the morning.

The drive is being conducted from January 5 to February 5 to inspect tracks for fractures and other anomalies that become the root cause of train accidents, said AK Mittal, Chairman Railway Board.

Railway officers and workers are able to detect 95 per cent of rail fractures but the rest 5 per cent that remain undetected trigger such accidents, he said.

Maximum fractures take place between 3 and 4 in the morning when temperature is the lowest, he said, adding, rail officials in NCR and all over the country have been asked to carry out the inspection of tracks.

Holding increasing rail traffic responsible for frequent train accidents in the recent past, Mittal said that the traffic near North Central Railway's Kanpur region and on Delhi-Howrah route is 150 per cent more than its capacity.

The surge in rail traffic is expected to come under control only after 2019 when the Dedicated Freight Corridor will be ready, he said.

Mittal, who was in Kanpur today, reviewed the accident spot in Pukhrayan where Indore-Patna Express derailed on November 20, which claimed more than 150 lives and left many injured.

While talking to mediapersons after inspection, he said that only a detailed investigation will explain the reason behind three major train accidents in last two months near Kanpur.

He was referring to December 28 Sealdah-Ajmer Express derailment near Rura Railway Station and January 12 goods train derailment near Unnao in UP, besides the Pukhrayan case.

"Now railway cannot cut down on number of trains but cautious steps can be taken in the direction of avoid such mishaps. Railway board is planning to purchase modern equipment including 'Mobile Ultrasonic Vans' to check any anomaly on the tracks," he said.