Kochi: The Southern Railway has formed a three-member ‘fact-finding’ committee to probe the recurring decoupling incidents, when rake formations of trains get detached while in operation, in Thiruvanantha-puram railway division since August 25. “The committee has heads of the divisional mechanical, operational and electrical wings as members. It will investigate all angles to take necessary action. This is for the first time that so many incidents of parting of rake formations have happened within a short time,” sources said. 12 decoupling incidents were reported since August 25.
The latest one happened on Saturday when the rake of Kochuveli-Sriranga Nagar Express got detached thrice between Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam stations.
“The panel is directed to submit a report within 15 days. The main areas of probe include whether geographical factors like excessive curves along rail network and any design fault in the new box type couplings have acted as contributing factors,” they added.
The internal preliminary probe by the divisional authorities has ruled out neglect in coach maintenance though security agencies have suggested a detailed probe into the aspect.
The incidents of decoupling pose threats of derailment besides resulting in train schedules going haywire.
Though box-type couplings are widely used in all divisions, replacing the traditional screw-type ones, no other division has reported similar cases with alarming frequency.
A spokesperson of Palakkad division said no such incidents were reported there in the recent past.
Security agencies have viewed the repeated incidents seriously and started a separate probe. “Nine decoupling incidents happened within a short span of 11 days from August 25 to September 4. Three more were reported thereafter, the latest on Saturday. Most of them occurred in Ernakulam-Thrissur section,” sources said.