Wednesday, November 23, 2016

NDT for safety - Recently Rail Accident at UP, India - A very Unfortunate accident in the history of Railways.

NDT for safety - Recently Rail Accident at UP, India - A very Unfortunate accident in the history of Railways.

It is very unfortunate to see another disastrous train accident that has taken 140+ lives in UP. There reason is not yet concluded yet. However preliminary investigations shows there could be CRACKS ON RAIL TRACK DUE TO EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION - a natural process that happened in hot and extremely cold weathers. Now the question arises is are we ready enough for high speed rail network in India. The high speed rail network is planned to be many time speeded that the once existing at the current tracks. Are we prepared enough for that is the question that needs to have crystal clear answer. As I routinely says in my technical talks we are having enough technology to make the rail travel safe but the problem is effectiveness in implementation of such stringent maintenance checks by the authorities. An effective NDT program implementation could have saved these valuable lives and financial losses. It is also funny that track safety rely on simple visual inspection done by the track maintenance personnel who may have a little or no knowledge of the material behaviour/crack initiation and propagation mechanism. Railways should cope up with the latest NDT technology procedures being adopted by various countries/organization for rail safety by using professionally trained NDT engineers to do such critical inspections. Its is time for the review on the maintenance check procedures that are being in place to ensure the safety of railway passengers. Punishing the culprits after the loss of lives can never bring the justice to the dependents of the families. Such instances are never tolerable any more with the advancements in Nondestructive testing -NDT. Conclusively I feel there should be professionals to carry out visual inspection on daily basis and also Ultrasonic Inspection -UT at specified intervals. I also feel that the present Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Mr Suresh Prabhu, Hon'ble Railway minister both looks to be very enthusiastic in implementing such programs in the interest of India and its citizens. Let us see how railways are transforming in becoming the part of India's Growth story in the coming days.

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