Rail Board PRO Anil Saxena on Thursday expressed regret over the inconvenience caused to the passengers in the recent train accident at Itarsi railway station, saying that senior officials of Bhopal division and Jabalpur zone and all other teams are fighting round the clock to normalise the situation at the earliest by restoring the signalling system and point and switch system.
“It is a case of major disruption and I would like to appeal through the media that passengers should check the status of their trains before embarking on their journeys either through our website or through National Train Enquiry System. They will receive information as to where the train has been diverted and whether it has been cancelled or short-terminated. All teams have been fighting round the clock to normalise the situation at the earliest so that signalling system can be restored, including the restoration of the point and switch system for smooth movement of trains. But since this is a case of major disruption, this may take time. We regret the inconvenience caused and appeal to all passengers to check before travelling,” Saxena told ANI here.
“At railway junction Itarsi, the Route Relay Interlocking chamber caught fire. Our signalling system and changing point of switch got destroyed. The Railways have sent an order for investigation. Itarsi is an important railway junction and the movement of a lot of trains have been affected. Almost 143 trains have been affected since yesterday. Out of that we have cancelled 72 trains, diverted 61 trains…The routes that have been affected are Mumbai-Bhopal, Mumbai-Allahabad-Jabalpur, Bhopal-Nagpur. We are taking time in releasing one train at a time from Itarsi junction. But since the movement of all trains are not possible, that is why we are diverting some trains. We are trying our best to normalise the traffic,” he added.
In the wee hours of the morning, yesterday, a fire broke out in the Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) room at Itarsi Railway Junction in Madhya Pradesh.
The fire was extinguished by use of Fire Tenders.
Inspection of the Signalling Relay Room, after the fire was extinguished, has indicated extensive damage to Operation Panel, Indication Panel and all wiring.
A considerable number of relays have also been badly damaged.
Signalling Relay Room system is a system by which all the signals and the crossings which are used for changing of routes at junction station are operated centrally from a cabin through electrical devices.
As a result, complete train operation at Itarsi station has been disrupted leading to severe detention to trains passing across Itarsi station.
Itarsi Station is the critical junction station on Bombay-Bhopal, Bhopal-Nagpur and Bombay-Jabalpur-Allahabad route.
This junction station deals with about 75 pairs of express passenger trains every day and about 25 goods trains each way.
Divisional Officers have already reached site and General Manager of the Railway is also proceeding.
Member Traffic of Railway Board, along with senior signalling, and Operating officials are also proceeding for the site.
Whereas the full extent of the damage is being assessed, detentions to trains would take place as all the operations are now being done manually instead of through electrical devices.
The trains on the section are being cleared one-by-one. Certain number of trains have been diverted through alternate routes and certain trains may have to be cancelled for the next one or two days.
The passengers are being advised to check the status of trains before the start of the journey.
Refunds are being arranged for passengers of cancelled or diverted trains.