It can never be ethically acceptable that people are killed or seriously injured when moving within a transport system!
Rail-Track Engineering and Technology is not difficult to understand. However, it is difficult to make it comprehensible for Politicians, Decision-Bearers and Upper Echelons how a rail-track behaves under traffic load and what can be done in order to reduce the risks of Derailment-Disasters killing and injuring train passengers (“risk” is the product of probability of a bad incident to occur, the impact it has and the harm it produces).
Indian leadership wants to give Indian Railways the semblance of a world-class technology driven organization. But Trains derail on poor quality and rapid aging rail-tracks not matching the increasing traffic load, killing and injuring train-passengers.
Indian Railways show two faces, a “brilliant” and an “ugly” face. With the “brilliant” face IR can look on outstanding engineering results with new Railway Lines, Gauge-Conversion Projects, Bridge and Tunnel Constructions and with Introduction of new comfortable and faster running Trains. With the “ugly” face IR look on the spate of unwanted and nasty Train Derailment-Disasters killing and injuring Train-Passengers, on account of not optimized Wheel-Rail Systems, rapid aging rail-tracks and on account of Track-Quality not matching the increased traffic load/volume.
India is ready to go for High-Speed Train-Services, but is not in a position to keep all its rail-roads in sound and healthy condition by proper repair, maintenance, enhancement, rehabilitation and renewal for “Close-To-ZERO” Derailment Risks ensuring nearly Accident free Rail-Travel. Several routes age faster than they can be rehabilitated or renewed.
People want to use a safe railway. Rail-tracks are an area presenting a great opportunity to achieve safety benefits. It is the obligation of the Indian Government to provide rail-tracks assuring close-to-zero fatal derailment-disasters and ensuring accident free rail-travel.
A railway-organization is only as good as the condition of its track-infrastructure. Therefore, it is in its original interest to optimize it and to keep it always on a high quality standard, which serves both the interests of its customers and business as well the operational safety.
World countries, whose economy can afford 300 kmph high-speed train services, have faced in the past decade ZERO killed or injured train-passenger due to a Derailment on account of an in-service failure of rail-tracks. They maintain, rehabilitate and renew all rail-roads in order to keep them in sound and healthy condition, fit for the traffic load/volume they have to carry.
It is not possible to achieve a HIGH QUALITY rail-track with short 13 m Indian rails with AT welds requiring to be bandaged with joggle-fishplates.
An underlying factor for the spate of fatal Derailment-Disasters in India, killing and injuring train passengers, are the aging long-welded (LWR) and continuous-welded (CWR) rail-panels consisting of poorly AT welded 13 meter short rails of sometimes inferior steel-alloy quality, needed to be bandaged with joggle-fishplates. Those panels age faster than they can be replaced or renewed by long milled rails of high steel-alloy quality welded by modern robotic flash-butt welding methodology. It needs long-term strategies and high capital investment schemes to renew the aging LWR/CRW tracks.
To bring the quality of all rail-roads in India in compliance with the increased traffic load/volume, massive capital investment schemes of long-term certainty in Safety related infrastructure-works, especially in high quality of rail-tracks on all routes, are needed. And “long-term” in Railways means really long, covering a period of 5 to 15 years ahead for planning, organisation, logistics and procurement. Enough skilled and well trained manpower, materials, tools, Monitoring Technology and Heavy-Duty and High- Performance On-Track Machineries are needed. High track quality means low track deterioration rate resp. slow aging under given traffic load/volume and hence low overall life cycle maintenance costs.
The lower the Track-Quality, the more frequent Track-Inspections and Monitoring are appropriate. A low Quality Track deteriorates faster than a high Quality Track and hence needs more maintenance expenditures causing higher costs.
Strong commitment and skillful execution of all people involved from the top to the bottom are prerequisites of paramount importance in order to reach the ultimate goal of “Close-To-Zero Fatal Train Accidents” by improving all India`s Rail-Roads up-to world class standards.
One Indian expert has quoted: “The problem in India is not of safety standards but the execution of standards.”
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