Facts about Maligawatte’s ‘ghost train’ out in the open

Facts about Maligawatte’s ‘ghost train’ out in the open

Written by Staff Writer

30 Dec, 2013 | 10:01 pm

An investigative committee has revealed that the negligence of the shunting engineer and his assistant led to a rogue engine travelling without an engineer from Maligawatte to Ratmalana.

General Manager of Railways, B.A.P. Ariyaratne said future steps would be taken as per the processes in the department.

CCTV cameras at the Colombo Fort Railway station captured the manner in which this train travelled without an engineer on December  5.

The three-member committee appointed by the Department of Railways analysed this footage and obtained testimony from numerous individuals. They submitted their final report toTransport Minister Kumara Welgama today, along with eleven recommendations to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

Deputy Superintendent (Operations) of Dept. of Railways, A.D.J. Seneviratne said, “The engineer and his assistant must take full responsibility for allowing this engine to leave the yard. The committee has decided that this incident occurred because of their negligence.”

Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer of Dept. of Railways, Dilan Fernando said, ” The system in the engine is like a normal system. There is the track, the torque converter and the gear box. Usually in a vehicle we step on the clutch to change gears. But in this case there is a air piston. It is through this that you release and engage. So if this clutch is not disengaged when the engine is shut off, then it remains engaged. This would not happen if it is pulled out. So the problem here is that when the engine was stabled, it was turned off without switching off the clutch.”


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