KOCHI: Passengers of Kerala Express bound for Thiruvananthapuram from New Delhi had a providential escape on Saturday morning when a technician of the Southern Railway detected a crack in the bogey frame of the train as it arrived at the Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station around 10 am. Technician T. C. Rajeev detected the crack in the trolley part of the frame connecting the S4 bogey to the wheel in the routine examination and instantly alerted the higher-ups at the station including the area manager who arrived at the spot.
The passengers were asked to vacate the bogey, and it took almost one and half hours to detach the bogey and reconnect the rest. The passengers in the bogey were accommodated in rest of the bogeys, and the train resumed journey after that. R. Harikrishnan, area manager, told DC that the crack might have resulted in the accident but not necessarily.
“We conduct rolling in examinations at major stations and the last examination for the train was held at Palakkad as it arrived at the station. The crack may have developed close to the Ernakulam Junction station, and it won’t escape the eyes of the technician in the rolling in the examination at Ernakulam,” he said. Railway sources, however, said a major disaster was averted. “The train would not have crossed the Mulanthuruthy station if the crack was not detected and precious lives would have lost including that of women and children,” an official said.
Technicians were under tremendous pressure at that time as three trains arrived at the Ernakulam Junction station simultaneously demanding instant checking. They were Chennai Express coming from Chennai, Kerala Express and Venad Express. “There are only two technicians and one helper to conduct the checks at a time. Anyhow we are relieved as the crack did not go unnoticed,” said the official....