List Of Reasons That Led To Bengal Train Crash That Killed 9

The Railway Board's initial report revealed that the goods train, operating under a defective automatic signalling system, was travelling above speed limits when it crashed.

By Kanan Parmar
New Update

Credits: Google

The Kanchanjunga Express was travelling from Agartala in Tripura to Sealdah in Kolkata when a goods train hit it from behind near Rangapani station, close to New Jalpaiguri Monday morning, resulting in the deaths of nine people and injuries to 41. Preliminary findings point to a combination of human error and signal failure as contributing factors.


The Railway Board's initial report on Monday revealed that the goods train, operating under a defective automatic signalling system, was travelling above speed limits when it crashed into the Kanchanjunga Express. The railways have not commented on this issue.

When the automated system fails, railway protocol mandates a written authority known as TA 912. This document authorises train drivers to pass all red signals due to the signalling defect, provided they adhere to stringent safety measures. Both the Kanchanjunga Express and the goods train had been issued TA 912 (pictured below).



According to railway procedures, under TA 912, drivers must stop for one minute at each defective signal and proceed at a maximum speed of 10 kmph. Additionally, they must maintain a 150-metre gap from the preceding train to ensure adequate stopping distance if the previous train has not cleared the signal. However, in this incident, the goods train driver violated these critical conditions.

The Kanchanjunga Express had cleared nine automatic signals with TA 912 and had stopped after crossing the nine signals awaiting fresh clearance to proceed further.

The TA 912 authority letter mentioned that the automatic signalling system had failed and authorised the driver to pass all automatic signals between Rangapani and Chattarhat, regardless of whether they were red or caution signals. The Railway Board said that under normal circumstances, a train encountering a red signal should stop for one minute during the day and two minutes at night, proceeding with extreme caution at speed not exceeding 15 kmph in good visibility conditions and 10 kmph in poor visibility.


Despite these regulations, the goods train exceeded the permissible speed, leading to the catastrophic collision. The exact speed at which the goods train was travelling has not been disclosed by the Railway Board. Rescue operations concluded by late afternoon, but efforts to clear the derailed coaches and restore rail services continued. The North Bengal Medical College and Hospital treated several injured passengers, with 41 remaining hospitalized, including nine in critical condition.

The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) initiated a probe into the cause of the accident. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw visited the site, overseeing relief operations and announcing compensation for the victims' families. ₹ 10 lakh will be provided to the families of those who died, ₹ 2.5 lakh to the grievously injured, and ₹ 50,000 to those with minor injuries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences to the victims and prayed for the recovery of those who were injured.


Governor CV Ananda Bose urged the prioritisation of treating the victims rather than engaging in blame games.


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