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Kanchanjunga Express accident Kavach status back in focus after mishap | India News


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Train collision, Kolkata Train accident, Train accident

Rescue work underway after a collision between the Kanchanjungha Express and a goods train, near Rangapani railway station, on Monday, June 17, 2024. At least 15 people were killed and 60 others suffered injuries, according to officials. (Photo: PTI)

Lack of Kavach coverage on the route where a goods train collided with Kanchenjunga Express has raised questions again on the progress of the flagship anti-collision system of the NDA government.


The Ministry of Railways has achieved Kavach coverage on over 1,500 route kilometre (rkm), and concerns over industry capacity and preparatory infrastructure works have been delaying the anti-collision system’s full rollout.


The railway ministry is in the process of floating tenders for Kavach integration for over 10,000 rkm, and has completed track-side infrastructure work on over 6,000 rkm, a top government official said.


In the absence of an anti-collision system and signal failure on the route since 5.50 am, both loco pilots of the Kanchanjunga Express and the goods train had been issued a T/A 912 memo by the station master, which authorised them to pass the red signals, said sources.

A T/A 912 is issued when automatic signal systems fail on a particular route for a number of reasons. A railway board spokesperson said that the ministry will not be able to comment on the issue before a probe is conducted.


The ministry of railways offered a clarification late on Monday. “Railway rules mandate that when a loco pilot is given T/A 912 and he has to cross a signal at Red*, then he needs to approach the signal at 10 kmph, bring his train to a stop as close as possible to the rear of a signal, wait for 1 minute during day time and 2 mins during night time at the signal and then proceed at 10 kmph,” it said.


It added: “Also, after passing the signal, loco pilot should ensure that a minimum distance of 150 meters or two clear OHE span is maintained between his train and the preceding train or any obstruction on the line.”

The Kanchanjunga Express is speculated to have been following these instructions. The speed of the goods train at the time of impact is unclear at this point.

First Published: Jun 17 2024 | 11:51 PM IST


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