PUNE DIVISION of the Indian Railways has formed teams that will ensure strict adherence to summer safety measures to avert accidents due to “track buckling” in the current extreme heat conditions.
As rail tracks are made from steel, they expand as it gets hotter and can start to curve. This phenomena is known as ‘buckling’. This may cause cracks and breakage of the track in some areas. The issue is most worrying at points where the rods are welded.
Officials with the Pune Railway Division said several teams have been patrolling the tracks during early hours to detect early signs of buckling.
Milind Deouskar, Pune Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), said teams have been set up for round-the-clock monitoring of railway tracks.
“Peak winter and summer days are a sensitive time for railway tracks… We have directed all station managers to stay alert during early hours. Civil engineers have been advised to keep a hawk’s eye on track maintenance as wide variation in day and night time temperatures sometimes causes cracks on tracks. Trackmen have been told to remain vigilant,” said Manoj Jhawar, spokesperson for the Pune Railway Division.
An official added that, based on monitoring of tracks, speed restrictions can be introduced on some stretches as slower trains exert lower force on the track, which reduces chances of buckling.