THE NORTHERN Railway has terminated services of three of its employees who were found responsible in the toy train accident near Parwanoo last year which had claimed lives of two British nationals. The Railways have also demoted one of its inspectors for the incident.
According to the railway officials, they have terminated the services of a driver, an assistant driver and a guard who were on duty in the train at the time of the accident. “We have removed three officials from the service after the inquiry report found them responsible for the accident,” Dinesh Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala, told Chandigarh Newsline on Tuesday. He said that a locomotive inspector had been demoted from his post.
In October last year, the Commissioner of Railway Safety, who had conducted an inquiry into the derailment of Kalka-Shimla toy train, had held railway staff responsible for the accident. The report had said that it was over-speeding that led to the accident. “The provisional findings of the commissioner appended with his preliminary report that the accident took place due to failure of railway staff,” the report had then said.
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The inquiry was ordered after two British nationals, both women, were killed and 13 were injured when three coaches of Kalka-Shimla toy train derailed near Parwanoo on September 12. The chartered train was carrying 37 British nationals in the age group of 40-80 years. Police too had booked the driver for the accident.
Soon after the accident, Northern Railway General Manager A K Puthia along with the top railway officials had conducted a day-long inspection of the heritage track.
According to the Railways, they have now installed automatic brake applications on all the locomotive trains on the Kalka-Shimla railway track. “Now we ensure that no train exceeds a set speed limit,” Kumar said. “We keep regularly collecting the details about the speed of the trains to ensure that there is no compromise of the passengers’ safety.”
The DRM said that the Railways had not received any kind of report of over-speeding after the last year’s incident. “The Railways keep conducting surprise checks as well. Since last year, we haven’t received any report of the overspeeding of any locomotive,” he added.