The derailment of the “Toy Train” in Kalka in September last year, killing two British tourists, was caused by over-speeding of the train as the driver had failed to note the speed as the speedometer had developed a snag. This is the finding of the government ordered probe. Two British tourists had died in the crash, which also left three persons seriously injured. The mishap had occurred 10 minutes after it had left the Kalka railway station.
“After going through the visual examination, we are of the opinion that since the speedometer had gone defective, the locomotive driver could not observe the section speed during the run,” the four-page report of the investigators, accessed by The Sunday Guardian, has concluded.
Railway officials have pointed out that trains are permitted to move at less than 25 km per hour on the particular stretch. Fixing responsibility on four of its employees for the accident, Railways has terminated the services of a driver, an assistant driver and a guard who were on duty in the train. Besides, a locomotive inspector has been demoted from his post. The investigators found that the speedometer and the pulse generator switch were found in order when the locomotive driver took charge. The train started at 12:45 hours and the “brake-feel” test was conducted soon after. But shortly after that, the speedometer stopped working.
The probe team found that the assistant loco pilot had observed that the speedometer was not working and he had apprised the loco pilot about this irregularity.
The trains were restored a day after the accident. The Kalka-Shimla railway, which is over a century old, is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.