Coimbatore

Train that mowed down three elephants was within restricted speed, says Railways

A Permanent Speed Restriction of 45 kmph is imposed for 13.9 km of a vulnerable section on A line and 19.41 km of a vulnerable section on B line from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.   | Photo Credit: SIVA SARAVANAN S

A Chennai-bound train that mowed down three elephants near Walayar in Coimbatore district was running within the restricted speed limit, the Palakkad Division of the Southern Railway has claimed.

The Division said that speed restrictions were in place on the stretch where the train hit the elephants. The speed of the train was within the permissible limit, it said. The loco pilot who operated the train at the time of the accident stated to authorities that the train was moving at 42 kmph, said a source from the Division.

According to the Division, as per a document accessed through the Right to Information Act earlier this year, Permanent Speed Restriction (PRS) of 45 kmph is imposed for 13.9 km of a ‘vulnerable section’ on the A line, and 19.41 km of a vulnerable section on the B line from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. During the day, the PSR is 65 kmph.

The A and B lines are the two railway lines that connect Kanjikode station in Kerala and Ettimadai station in Tamil Nadu. The B line mostly passes through the forest areas of Walayar and Madukkarai forest ranges. While trains towards Palakkad are generally run through A line, those towards Coimbatore are run through B line.

The Chennai-bound train that knocked down the elephants was however operated through the A line, reportedly due to the movement of another train on the B line at the time of the accident.

The train knocked down the elephants -- a makna (tuskless male), an adult female and a female calf -- on the stretch between Walayar and Ettimadai stations around 9 p.m. While the makna and the calf were thrown off the track after being hit by the train, the adult female was dragged for nearly 80 metres before the train came to a halt.

The train was brought back to Walayar using another engine and it left for Chennai via the B line at 1.35 a.m. on Saturday.

The Forest Department will conduct a post-mortem on the dead elephants on Saturday. District Forest Officer T.K. Ashok Kumar, senior officials and veterinarians are at the place.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 2:02:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/train-that-mowed-down-three-elephants-was-within-restricted-speed-says-railways/article37715934.ece

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