Train 18 latest update: Launch of Indian Railways’ engine-less train delayed further; here’s why

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Published: January 22, 2019 12:28:06 PM

As the highest electrical authorities in Integral Coach Factory (ICF), as well as the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), had duly certified Train 18 several times, the rolling stock department pointed out that there was no legal or administrative basis to call for EIG inspection. 

The ‘Shatabdi killer’ will be inspected by the Electrical Inspector to the Government (EIG).

Train 18 latest update: Indian Railways’ engine-less self-propelled train set, slated to be first flagged off by December-end, has gone into a loop of delay, with the electrical department set to inspect it. According to an IE report, the ‘Shatabdi killer’ will be inspected by the Electrical Inspector to the Government (EIG), the Railway Board decided on Monday. As per law, railway rolling stock is exempted from such inspection, however, the Railway Board took the decision despite contrary views from its own rolling stock department, the report said. As the highest electrical authorities in Integral Coach Factory (ICF), as well as the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), had duly certified Train 18 several times, the rolling stock department pointed out that there was no legal or administrative basis to call for EIG inspection.

According to railway officials, the product was undergoing “procedural evaluation”. While the Northern zone of Indian Railways has been instructed to organize the inspection by EIG, sources quoted in the report stated that there will be two procedural problems in the inspection by EIG. First, the inspection by EIG is carried out before an electrical system is charged with electricity. In Train 18’s case, it has been charged long back for successful trials. Moreover, certification to that effect has been already issued. Second, to inspect railway rolling stock, the EIG does not have the jurisdiction as it is the domain of the Commissioner of Railway Safety, they said.

Train 18, unlike other rolling stock, is a 25 kv electrical system, and therefore “no sane person” would overrule the Commissioner of Railway Safety after it has flagged a need for EIG inspection, the sources said. In its conditional clearance to Train 18, the Commissioner of Railway Safety had highlighted that the train required clearance from EIG.

According to the Railway Board, all the recommendations of the Commissioner of Railway Safety will be adhered to in entirety. This can delay the flagging off of the train because one of the recommendations is to conduct the crucial oscillation trials again, where train coaches are tested by running them with weights as well as in an empty state. According to the report, these trials took three weeks, last time. Usually, these trials take months. A railway official was quoted saying that even if the railways hurry up the process, it might take double the time duration it took earlier.

Train 18 is slated to run between Delhi and Varanasi, covering the over 700 kilometres distance in around 8 hours. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to flag off the next-generation offering from Indian Railways.

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