Oct 16, 2016

RAILWAY BOARD USED ITS AUTHORITY TO AVOID DELAY

Internal feud surfaced after Commissioner of Rail Safety said his department’s approval was not taken before putting the high-speed Spanish coaches to test.

Amid a row over safety permissions for the trial of high-speed Talgo coaches, it has emerged that railway authorities did go by the book while commissioning the exercise.
Days after the Spanish-made bogies completed tests on Indian tracks, the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) said they were done without its approval. Railways seeks mandatory clearances from CRS before running new trains as per the standard procedure.

Being the apex decision-making authority for railways, the Railway Board took the rare exception of not seeking CRS clearance before putting the Talgo coaches to test on the Bareilly-Moradabad and Palwal-Mathura stretches and then the Delhi-Mumbai route. The idea was to cut down delay in formalities.

Subodh Jain, former member engineering of the Board, said Talgo is the first case in his knowledge where the trial of a coach was carried out on passenger routes without the approval of CRS. Board spokesperson Anil Saxena told Mirror that CRS Sushil Chandra had written a letter asking how the trials were conducted without his department’s approval. “The trial of a new rolling stock can be undertaken with the approval of the Board as per the established procedure. In the case of Talgo, Board’s approval was taken. Once we decide to introduce the coaches for public use, we will take CRS approval.”

Highly placed sources said the Board didn’t want to delay the trial by involving more agencies as Union Minister for Railway Suresh Prabhu has been pushing for the introduction of high-speed coaches as early as possible.

“The minister is dead serious about improving rail travel experience in India. In fact, his office was actively following up on the Talgo trials. There was no way the Board could have afforded more paperwork,” said a source.

When the Spanish train clocked 11 hours and 48 minutes on the Delhi-Mumbai stretch, faster than the Rajdhani Express by nearly four hours, hitting the preset top speed of 150 kmph, Prabhu tweeted: “A major achievement for our team. We r working on increasing speed, reducing travel time using innovative means #Talgo.”
Source - Mumbai mirror