February 25, 2021 8:34:29 am
A DAY after the derailing of the Work Man Special Toy Train on Kalka-Shimla heritage railway track, initial findings suggest that one left-sided wheel of the goods wagon had suddenly jumped off the track and was hitting the enders of the sleepers outside the track near Tunnel number 33, a few meters before Barog Railway Station.
Following the initial probe, the possibility of over-speeding was ruled out as the train had been running at a speed ranging between 8-9 km per hour when the mishap took place around 11.05 am on Tuesday. No human casualty was reported. A probe was ordered to fix the responsibility behind the accident.
Sources said, “The maximum speed for the toy trains on Kalka-Shimla track, especially near Barog, is fixed at 9 km per hour. As per the reading of the speedometer of the toy train, the train was at a speed of 8-9 km per hour. The speedometer was seized in the view of the ongoing investigation. Track reading is going on. Four left-sided wheels of the goods wagon were derailed. Two bogies were almost empty.
Merely two-three railway employees were present in one of the bogies. A loud sound had alerted the loco pilot, who had stopped the engine on track.”
Ambala DRM Gurvinder Mohan Singh, who inspected the scene of the accident, said, “All the aspects are being probed. We seized the speedometer of the train. The track speed is being analysed. The engine was running at a speed between 8-9km per hour. So far, we are ruling out the possibility of over-speeding because the train was moving upwards. Statements of loco pilot and other staff members are being recorded. Work man special train comprised three coaches, including two bogies for the railway employees and one goods wagon for transporting the water tanks. The one-sided four wheels of the goods wagon was derailed.”
The Work Man Special Train was introduced for convenience of the railway employees when strict lockdown was imposed and trains’ movements were suspended across the country due to the advent of Covid-19.
In September 2015, two US nationals were killed when one of the coaches of a special chartered train had got derailed while coming downwards from Shimla to Kalka Railway Station.
The accident had taken place near Kalka. The subsequent probe had established that over-speeding was the reason behind the accident. A railway officer said, “At least 95 per cent of the Kalka-Shimla railway track is full of curves, which are mostly sharp. Generally, toy train over speeds while moving downwards.”
In July 2010, the engine of a toy train had got derailed on the way from Kalka to Shimla near Koti. In December 2008, a passenger was killed and three were injured when three coaches of Kalka-Shimla railway track were derailed near Solan.
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