AN ACTION plan would be executed to bring the increasing number of rail fractures on Central Railway under control, officials said. This comes after repeated occurrences of problems with tracks were witnessed in the past few week on suburban services. The plan would aim at bringing improvement in the technical aspects of tracks and its maintenance, the officials said.
Among these, improving the cushioning effect of tracks and removing the silt off them would remain the priorities. “Improper welding of tracks and insufficient mud-pumping were found to be the causes of repeated occurrences of rail fractures or failures. The action plan will aim at repairing all these faults,” said a senior Central Railways official.
Excessive wear and tear of rails besides temperature variations in the months of September and October account for the main reasons of rail fractures, officials said. While its occurrence is a common factor, its repeated nature in the past few days is adding to the woes, they added. “Post monsoon, there is a regular pattern of work which officials undertake for track maintenance. Also, excessive heat in the later periods of September and October also causes track problems. We have witnessed at least 30-35 rail fractures on Central Railway till September this year,” official concerned with the engineering of tracks said.
Delays in completion of maintenance work and time taken by the help to repair such tracks have also been cited as reasons for regular fractures. A proper and regular maintenance of the rails will be the solution, officials said. “Records state that there were delays in carrying out regular maintenance work of track in the past two months which further affected services. Absence of enough staff, internal problems or dearth in material required could be the reasons of the same. A failure in co-ordination between maintenance and operations team could also be counted,” the official said.
According to sources, the punctuality of services on Central Railway in October was affected due to asset-failures in large amounts. Among them, rail fractures, alarm-chain pulling, signage failures and rail-gate interference top the list.
“Deep screening process, along with increasing the cushioning effect on tracks, is a work which we have undertaken in full speed. Also, efforts are taken to ensure that every inch of tracks at vulnerable spots in suburban sections is patrolled. One must also realise that as manpower to do regular track checks can only be employed in the night hours, we try to improve the track conditions to the best we can,” said Ravinder Goyal, DRM, Central Railway.