RTI activist blames Southern Railway for not installing speed governors on
trains (State of Tamil Nadu, India)
The Times of India
May 2, 2021
COIMBATORE: The Southern Railway is yet to install speed governance devices
on trains, despite reducing the speed limit to 45kmph on Podanur-Palakkad
section from 6pm to 6am, according to an activist, who says just setting a
speed limit is not an adequate measure to prevent elephant deaths on the
Social and RTI activist R Pandiaraja says there should be close monitoring
to ensure trains follow the speed limit. “There is also a need to reduce
the height of the track on the stretch and bring the A line and B line,
which passes through the forest, closer to each other.
He says in reply to his RTI submission, the Salem division of Southern
Railway has admitted to not installing automatic emergency brake systems or
speed governors to control the speed of locomotives.
“Without them, how will the railway ensure that trains are following the
45kmph speed limit at night. The railway has also not taken action against
any of the loco pilots for hitting elephants and injuring them. On the
contrary, it says none of the locos or coaches were damaged after hitting
He questioned the railway’s commitment to preventing elephant deaths on
Podanur-Palakkad stretch, where 13 elephants had died between 2002 and
2010. Three elephants were killed in 2009 alone.
“The track is almost 10ft above the ground level. So, elephants cannot
easily step to the side of the track when a train comes. Bringing both the
lines parallel and closer to each other will help address the issue.”
Referring to the A line, which is meant for the trains to Palakkad from the
city, and B line that caters to the trains to the city, he says the first
one passes through dense forest areas for 6.5km between Walayar and
Ettimadai and the second one for 8.5km.