Kochi: Even after an alarming rate of parting rake formations and disarraying train schedules posing derailment risk over the last two weeks, the authorities of Thiruvananthapuram division refuse to find any fault with rake maintenance.
They instead point fingers at “quality” of the new type of couplers linking rolling stocks.
A total of 12 decoupling incidents were reported in the division since August 25. The latest one happened on Saturday when the rake of Kochuveli-Sriranga Nagar Express got detached at least thrice in the Thiruvananthap-uram-Kollam section.
“There is only one incident of decoupling involved with passenger trains and all others happened with goods trains,” said Sirish Kumar Sinha, the divisional manager.
“The box-type coupling was faulty and we detected fresh cracks. We’ve forwarded photographs of the same and a detailed report to the Golden Rock Wor-kshop, Tiruchirappalli, to probe the mechanical defect.”
However, sources said decoupling incidents are “rare” though box type couplings are widely used in all divisions, replacing traditional screw-type ones. When contacted, a spokesperson of neighbouring Palakkad division said no such incidents were reported there.
A coupling is a mechanism to connect rolling stock in a train. Under the centre buffer coupling (box type), a special locking system operated by a handle is used. The new LHB coaches use CBC couplers as the same facilitates high hauling capacity, comparatively high speed and easy to operate.
Security agencies have viewed the repeated incidents seriously and have started a separate probe.
“Nine decoupling incidents happened within a short span of 11 days from August 25 to September 4,” a source said.
“Three more were reported thereafter, the latest happening on Saturday. Most of them occurred in Ernakulam-Thrissur section and the affected wagons were maintained at Ernakulam marshalling yard.”
According to experts, there is a risk of derailment of the engine or parted away coaches post decoupling.
“Besides such an incident will disarray train schedules as often it takes two to three hours to link back the detached coaches to the rake,” an expert said.