The newly launched Mumbai-Gandhinagar Vande Bharat Superfast Express train was damaged after colliding with cattle between Vatva and Maninagar stations in Gujarat on October 6 around 11 in the morning.
The front portion of the train was damaged during the accident, and the driver could not apply brakes because doing so would have derailed the train travelling at 140 kmph. Further, three buffaloes died in the incident, confirmed Railway officials.
According to the Senior Public Relations Officer Ahmedabad Railway, Jitendra Jayant, three-four buffaloes suddenly appeared in the path of the Mumbai-Gandhinagar Vande Bharat, damaging the train's FRP (fibre-reinforced plastic) nose.
However, no functional parts were damaged, the carcasses were removed, and the train resumed its journey within eight minutes, arriving in Gandhinagar on time. He added that the Railways are also attempting to advise villagers not to leave cattle near tracks.
'The Driver Of The Train Was Fully Alert': CPRO
According to The Indian Express, Western Railway's (WR) Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO), Sumit Thakur, the train operated at the permitted speed on the section.
CPRO Thakur stated, "The train driver was fully alert and immediately blew the train's whistle and applied brakes, but the reaction time was less."
He added that the WR plans to construct fencing on the Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad section to increase the train's speed to 160 kmph and avoid similar incidents in the future. The fencing project is expected to be completed by March 2024.
Nose Cone Of The Train Replaced
The railway authorities have replaced the front portion of the Mumbai-Gandhinagar Vande Bharat Express train at the Coach Care Centre in Mumbai Central. The incident damaged the nose cone cover and mounting brackets of the train's driver coach. However, the train's vital components were unaffected.
According to CPRO, the nose cover is designed to absorb impact without transmitting it to the train's functional parts. As a result, it is sacrificial by design and thus replaceable; a sufficient number of nose cones are kept as spares. The damaged nose cone was replaced with a new one during maintenance, and the train was returned to service with no additional downtime.
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