UP goods trains collision: Red-flagged German braking system likely cause


New Delhi, February 18

A faulty German-made braking system seems to have caused Thursday’s head-on collision between two goods trains in Uttar Pradesh, a preliminary report has said.

The Bogie-Mounted Brake System (BMBS) was red-flagged by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in July 2022. It said a committee report found “deficiencies” in the system’s braking power.

On Thursday, two goods trains collided with each other near the southern cabin of Sultanpur district.

One of the trains, loaded with coal, was running at a speed of about 65 kilometres per hour. This train was fitted with the BMBS. The other train was empty.

A preliminary report said the area where the accident occurred had both curved and steep downward gradient as a result of which the braking system was ineffective.

According to the July 2022 RDSO report, the German-made braking system has “lesser brake force”. It said reducing speeds will mitigate the risks.

However, it did not recommend stopping operations of the braking system as around 69,000 wagons were fitted with it.

Sources said running crews of trains highlighted their dissatisfaction with the system and raised the issue with the Railway Board.

Unofficial figures say that around 90 such accidents occurred due to the malfunctioning braking system over the past year.

Since the system is used only in goods trains, the loss of lives have been minimal.

Officials said the Railways is working with the German company Knorr-Bremse to come up with a viable solution to the problem.