Mumbai: Monday’s incident where five bogies packed with commuters got detached from a 12-car local train on its way to Kalyan has alarmed Central Railway authorities.
A railway official said, “We will inspect all rakes to erase even a remote possibility of recurrence of this incident.” It is the first time that a bar of the Schaku coupler broke off in Mumbai. Schaku couplers are the most advanced and best in the world. Its failure has come as shock to the authorities. A bar with holes at the inner ends through which cars are connected with a bolt is called a coupler.
“Breaking of the bar coupler is a serious incident. Orders for this type of material are placed at the board level. We will have to look for the lot in which this defective coupler came. All other couplers in the consignment will be traced and inspected,” the official said These types of couplers are generally used for Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) rakes kept in formation of three or four cars. They can be disconnected only in a workshop.
“Bar couplers are designed to possess enough strength to withstand the stress when trains accelerate, decelerate or stop on application of brakes. If the coupler breaks, the train can witness parting and abrupt braking, which can lead to unexpected jolts in the coach and can cause people to fall off trains. Fortunately, Monday’s decoupling did not lead to any injury and caused only disruption of service.”
Ultrasound technology will have to be used to inspect any deformities in manufacturing of the couplers, said the railway official.
Monday’s incident had taken place on the slow track between Diva and Kopar around 6.30pm. The stretch had to be shut for almost two hours, leading to delays and overcrowding. CR has ordered an inquiry into the mishap and the process has begun.
The commissioner of railway safety, Central Circle, too is likely to seek an explanation from CR authorities. However, he cannot conduct an inquiry into the accident as there was no loss of life or injury due to the incident.