Two tracks on Balasore route to be operational by tonight – Inside Railways’ mega restoration work

A tragic train accident in Odisha’s Balasore has claimed the lives of more than 270 individuals, leaving over 1,000 others injured. The incident occurred late Friday evening when three trains, namely the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, and a goods train, derailed. This unfortunate event stands as the country’s most devastating train tragedy in the past twenty years. 

Preliminary investigations suggest that a signalling error caused the accident, resulting in the Coromandel Express deviating from its assigned track and colliding with a stationary goods train from behind.

Over 1,000 workers involved in restoration

Since Saturday evening, a dedicated team of over 1,000 workers has been tirelessly engaged in restoration efforts at the accident site located at Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore. To aid in the restoration process, heavy machinery, including seven pocketing machines, a 140-tonne railway crane, and four road cranes, have been deployed. “With restoration work underway, at least two railway lines are expected to be operational by 8pm today at the site. We expect that trains will start running at a low speed,” Jaya Varma Sinha, Member of Operation and Business Development, Railway Board told ANI.

#WATCH | Odisha: Latest aerial visuals from #BalasoreTrainAccident site where restoration work is underway pic.twitter.com/9WPXhZ8SWi

— ANI (@ANI) June 4, 2023

Root cause analysis

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel have begun packing their belongings, generators, and equipment, indicating the winding down of the rescue operations. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan visited the site to review the progress of the restoration work. The root cause of the accident has been identified, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Sunday without elaborating. He visited the accident site and said the target is to restore all damaged tracks by Wednesday morning. Victims have all been retrieved, Bloomberg quoted him as saying.

Additionally, Vaishnaw refuted any connection between the incident and the anti-collision system called “Kavach”.

Jaya Sinha also said that the driver of the train, who sustained serious injuries, “has said that the train moved forward only after it received a ‘Green’ signal”. “Neither did he jump any signal nor the train was overspeeding,” she added.

The root cause of the accident has been identified, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Sunday without elaborating. 

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