Thiruvananthapuram: The Southern Railway has begun rigorous testing of rails and welds by ultrasonic flaw detecting machines to locate the internal flaws in rails in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad divisions. It has also taken steps for the replacement of these rails before they develop cracks.
The frequency of such testing varies from four to six months, said a statement from the railways. Speed restriction is imposed on the trains and the rail is secured with fishplates to prevent in-service failure. The defective rail is renewed with new rail or tested rail in a time-bound manner, said the statement.
This year, approximately 267 flaws found in Palakkad division and 730 flaws in Thiruvananthapuram division were removed from the track.
The railway is also accelerating the renewal of rails and sleepers and other maintenance activities to enhance safety. It has announced a target of renewing 102 kilometres of rail in Palakkad and 139 km in Thiruvananthapuram division. There are also plans to renew sleepers of 77 km and 106 km in Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram divisions respectively in the current year at a total investment of Rs 480 crore.
The railway has deployed track relaying train machine for complete renewal of track in the state and 26.71 track km has already been renewed in Palakkad division. The machine is now deployed near Kochuveli to speed up the work in Thiruvananthapuram division.