Fire in trains: Railway board sounds alarm; here’s what you must know

New Delhi: Fifteen cases of fire-related accidents have been reported in trains in the last five months primarily due to improper maintenance of rolling stock and lack of supervision, a Railway Board letter has said, instructing zonal railways to take corrective measures to minimise such incidents in the future.

The letter addressed to all General Managers of zones states that such incidents have shown ‘laxity in maintenance of rolling stock’ and preventive action must be taken in this regard.

“In the last five months, there are 15 cases of fire accidents/incidents reported over zonal railways involving locomotives, coaching stock and freight stock due to various reasons like miscreant activities, improper maintenance of rolling stock, loading of prohibited items…

“Above incidents indicates laxity in maintenance of rolling stock and lack of supervision, slack supervision of commodities being loaded, insufficient security…”, the letter dated May 31 said.

In the letter the board has pointed out zone-wise how lack of proper maintenance as well as monitoring of goods being loaded in trains had led to such accidents.

In Agra Division a coach caught fire due to electrical short circuit and in another instance, in NR zone in Delhi Division, another fire broke out because charged electronic goods or mobile batteries were stored in the luggage portion of the coach.

Similarly, the board letter has listed incidents in both Central Railway and North Central Railway where it said that fire broke out due to improper maintenance.