<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Safe travel is a right of every passenger. Now safety of rail assets is finally being given some attention by the Indian Railways, which was in the backburner. For instance, on Sunday, the Central Railway replaced 6.2 km of tracks during the mega block between Thane-Vashi and Thane-Mulund sections. These tracks had become unsafe for trains to ply as it’s condition has deteriorated. In this year itself, there have been several derailments and accidents across Indian Railways; one of the primary reasons being the poor quality of tracks. The railway officials agree that underinvestment in rail infrastructure, poor maintenance and excessive traffic has deteriorated the condition of these tracks. AT A GLANCEMajor Derailments In 2017DescriptionUtkal Express derailment, Aug 18, 2017 Meerut-Lucknow Rajya Rani Express derailment, April 15, 2017 Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailment, Jan 22, 2017 Kalindi Express derailment, Feb 20, 2017 The life of a rail track depends on the frequency of train movement and its tonnage capacity (load-bearing capacity that coaches carry). In Mumbai, the rail tracks are normally replaced after 1-2 years due to heavy usage while in the interiors where train movement is less, the replacement is done after 10 years too. “The railway ministry has specifically asked all the zones to address safety issues which also includes replacement of old and worn out tracks. Work on new rail lines has been kept on hold and the same tracks have been diverted to rail stretches that need immediate attention,” said a senior railway official.On November 19, near about 300 labourers were deployed for this work. “The rail replacement is done usually on those which have outlived its codal life and on condition basis of rail. However, this is record progress of rail renewal in a single block,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, Central Railway. These rails came from Bhilai steel plant as 24 panels of 260 meters long each, ferried in a rake. These were inserted in place of old rails during the mega block. The CR officials expect that it would improve safety as the track related technical glitches will definitely reduce.
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