Steep Decline In Train Accidents, Derailments In Last 20 years: Rail Minister In Rajya Sabha

Steep Decline In Train Accidents, Derailments In Last 20 years: Rail Minister In Rajya Sabha

The Indian Railways attributes this remarkable improvement in safety to the implementation of a plethora of measures aimed at avoiding train derailments and collisions.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Friday, July 21, 2023, 08:00 PM IST
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Indian Railways has witnessed a steep decline in the number of train accidents and derailments over the past two decades. According to the written reply of the minister of railways in Rajya Sabha on Friday, the number of train accidents has plummeted from a staggering 473 in the fiscal year 2000-01 to a mere 48 in the year 2022-23.

During the period of 2004-2014, the average number of accidents was recorded at 171.1 per annum. However, due to the various safety measures undertaken by the Indian Railways, this number has been significantly reduced to an average of 70.9 per annum in the period of 2014-2023. 

A similar success story is witnessed in the domain of train derailments. The number of train derailments has seen a sharp drop from 350 in 2000-01 to only 36 in the financial year 2022-23. 

During the period of 2004-2014, the average number of train derailments stood at 86.7 per annum, which has been effectively brought down to an average of 47.3 per annum in the period of 2014-2023.

Measures aimed at avoiding train derailments and collisions

The Indian Railways attributes this remarkable improvement in safety to the implementation of a plethora of measures aimed at avoiding train derailments and collisions. One significant step was the introduction of the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) in 2017-18, with a corpus of ₹1 lakh crore dedicated to the replacement, renewal, and upgradation of critical safety assets. The sustained investment in safety through RRSK has played a vital role in enhancing the safety infrastructure of the railways.

Several other initiatives have been put into action, including the widespread installation of Electrical/Electronic Interlocking Systems at stations, Interlocking of Level Crossing Gates, and Complete Track Circuiting to eliminate human failure-related accidents. Additionally, the provision of Vigilance Control Devices in all locomotives ensures that loco pilots remain vigilant throughout their journeys.

Reduced human errors during maintenance and renewal processes

The adoption of modern track structures and mechanisation of track laying activities using advanced track machines has significantly reduced human errors during maintenance and renewal processes. Moreover, the use of GPS-based Fog Safety Devices for loco pilots in fog-affected areas and the introduction of thick web switches and better welding technologies have further improved safety standards.

The Indian Railways has also prioritised regular inspections, monitoring, and maintenance of track assets and railway bridges. Training and counseling programs for staff have been undertaken to ensure the observance of safe practices and adherence to safety protocols.

Elimination of all unmanned level crossings and the display of statutory "Fire Notices" in coaches, along with the provision of fire detection and suppression systems, have significantly enhanced passenger safety.

The concerted efforts and the adoption of these safety measures have proven to be a turning point for the Indian Railways, making it one of the safest modes of transport in the country. The focus on passenger safety and continuous improvement reflect the Indian Railways' commitment to providing reliable and secure travel experiences for millions of passengers across the nation.

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