Dadar-Puducherry Express Derailment: Workers union blames system error for accident

After the Matunga incident, Central Railway has decided to completely discontinue the use of long hood leading locomotives in all passenger trains.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Sunday, April 24, 2022, 05:29 PM IST
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FPJ

Blaming the 'system error', the central railway workers union said that if the timely decision about the use of long hood diesel engines was taken by the administration, Matunga rail accidents could have been avoided.

After the Matunga incident, Central Railway has decided to completely discontinue the use of long hood leading locomotives in all passenger trains.

Venu Nair, General Secretary of National Railway Mazdoor Union said, "We were demanding since last several years to stop the use of long hood diesel engine in passengers trains, but railway administration didnt care about it."

Similarly, Vivek Sisodia, divisional chairman of central railway Mazdoor Unioun said, "This is the main problem of our system, admininstration wakes up only after some unusual things happen. This is not the first time when a long hood engine has created problems in the suburban section. In 1994 similar type of incident happend in the CR, despite the accident, the use of a long hood engine continued in the Mumbai division of CR till the Matunga incident."

Three coaches of Dadar-Puducherry Express had derailed near Matunga station in Mumbai on April 15 after the engine of the CSMT-Gadag Express, going in the same direction, dashed it sideways. The accident happened between Dadar and Matunga.

Though a final inquiry report of this incident is yet to be submitted, prima facie observation showed that the train was running with the help of a long hood diesel engine. Because of the length of the hood of the engine, both drivers of the train were unable to see the aspect of the signal properly, which led to the accident.

The long hood diesel locomotive is, as the name implies, the longer part of the locomotive ahead of the driving cab, particularly ALCo-class locomotives, which partially blocks the view ahead. The ALCo (American Locomotive Company) engine design is more than 55 years' old and was produced by Banaras Locomotive Works.

However, a senior officer of CR said, "Cause of accident will be known only after inquiry report submitted by the inquiry committee. The inquiry is still on. Use of long hood diesel engine is stopped in passenger trains as a precautionary measure."

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