What Caused Odisha Train Accident? Possible Signalling Failure Blamed For Biggest Rail Disaster In Decades

Odisha Rail Accident: Indian Railways has launched a high-level inquiry into the train accident in Odisha, which is touted as the worst train accident in decades. On June 2, 2023, three trains including Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train were involved in a fatal accident. More than 280 people lost their lives, while close to 1000 people were reported injured. Officials said on Saturday that the incident is being investigated under the leadership of Commissioner Railway Safety, South Eastern Circle. While it is not clear what was the cause of the accident, sources indicated a possible signaling failure.

Odisha Train Accident: Causes

The preliminary inquiry submitted to the Railway Board has revealed that the Coromandel Express train involved in the rail accident in Odisha on Friday entered the loop line instead of the main line. The express train running at a speed of 128 kmph rammed into a goods train standing in the loop line just ahead of Bahanagar Bazar station.

The rear end of the express train rammed into a goods train on the loop line, resulting in 4-5 coaches being scattered on the adjacent track. At the same time, the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express was running at a speed of 116 kmph. The coaches of the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express overturned after colliding with the coaches of the Coromandel Express, which were scattered on the adjacent track.

Loop lines of the Indian Railways are built in a station area – in this case, Bahanagar Bazar station – to accommodate more trains to ease operations. Loop lines are usually 750 meters long to accommodate a full-length freight train with multiple engines, reports PTI.

KAVACH Not Available

Indian Railways also confirmed that armor anti-collision technology was not available on the route. Indian Railways spokesperson Amitabh Sharma said, “The rescue operation has been completed. Now, we are starting the restoration work. Kavach was not available on this route.” Railways is in the process of installing “Kavach”, an anti-train collision system, in its network.

Kavach alerts when a loco pilot jumps a signal (Signal Passed at Danger – SPAD), which is a major cause of train collisions. The system can alert the loco pilot, control the brakes and stop the train automatically if the train notices another train on the same line within a specified distance.

An Indian Railways spokesperson said, “AM Chowdhary, CRS, SE Circle, will conduct an inquiry into the accident.” The Commissioner of Railway Safety works under the Ministry of Civil Aviation and investigates all such accidents.

In February, after a head-on collision between two goods trains in Uttar Pradesh, the Railways launched a month-long safety drive to prevent accidents such as derailment and overshooting of signals by loco pilots. Under the campaign, senior officers of Railway Board, Zonal Railways and Divisions were instructed to visit various sections, crew lobbies, maintenance centres, work sites etc. to check and enforce safety “working practices”. in-depth review”. operational and maintenance practices.