Mumbai : If the Central Railway is to be believed, the Roha derailment happened because a 10-cm long slice of a rail had chipped. The toll in the accident has gone up to 22.
General Manager of CR, Sunil Kumar Sood, denied media reports that the accident happened because the welding between two rails had come undone. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, he said, “The welding was intact. A five-cm piece from each rail had come off at the joint.”
Sood said that one of two rails was from1992 while the other was from 2005. The 1992 rail was to be replaced in 1995 with rails with reduced hydrogen content which increases their durability.
Sood said an agreement was signed with the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) in which SAIL was given a period of 5 years to get the necessary equipments for the production of rails with reduced hydrogen content. The railways intended to phase out the old rails.
The welding failure is a result of sudden heating or cooling of the tracks while being welded which causes the welding to give away. These cases are considered as the heat affected zone.
However, the welding in this case did not give out and the welding was found to be intact even after the derailment.
An inquiry in to the matter will be conducted by the Commissioner of Railway Safety and the samples of the rails have been sent Nation Testing House.
The railway officials fail to explain how both the tracks were chipped off. The rails that are to be replaced undergo rigorous inspection and the scheduled periodic inspections are frequented. The GM specified that the rail was under scheduled periodic maintenance but failed to explain the cause of the derailment.