Railway Ministry reports a sharp decrease in number of serious train accidents

Between 2004 and 2014, the average annual number of consequential train accidents stood at 171, meanwhile, during the subsequent decade (2014-2024), this figure declined to 68

In the aftermath of the Kanchanjunga Express accident, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw faced calls for his resignation from the Congress. However, the minister emphasized that safety measures implemented by the Indian Railways have significantly reduced the number of consequential train accidents. The figures speak for themselves: from a staggering 473 accidents in 2000-01, the count has plummeted to 40 in 2022-23.

Investments in Safety: A Key to Reducing Train Accidents

Between 2004 and 2014, the average annual number of consequential train accidents stood at 171. Remarkably, during the subsequent decade (2014-2024), this figure declined to 68, as reported by Deccan Herald. The Railway Ministry attributes this positive trend to substantial investments in safety during the latter period. With a focus on structural and systemic improvements, Indian Railways has prioritized safe operations.

train accidents
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The financial commitment to safety-related projects underscores this dedication. In the 2014-24 period, the investment reached Rs 1.78 lakh crore—2.5 times the corresponding amount spent from 2004 to 2014 (Rs 70,273 crore). The national transporter continues to enhance safety through track improvements, signaling upgrades, and advancements in locomotives and trains.

One critical initiative is the implementation of the Automatic Train Protection System, known as Kavach. This system is rapidly being deployed across 3,000 km of tracks, with the goal of preventing accidents. While criticism regarding installation delays persists, progress has been made. Kavach is already operational on 1,465 route km and 121 locomotives, primarily in the South Central Railway zone.

Moreover, the Agra division has established a comprehensive Kavach network along the 80-km stretch between Mathura (excluding the station) and Palwal. This network facilitates trials on various engine types, ensuring safety across diverse scenarios. As Indian Railways continues its unwavering commitment to safety, the decline in consequential train accidents reflects a concerted effort to protect passengers and enhance rail travel across the country.

You might also be interested in – Kanchanjunga Express Accident: PM Modi promises Rs 2 lakh compensation to deceased passengers

Dr. Shubhangi Jha

Avid reader, infrequent writer, evolving

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