Balasore train accident: Critical failures in signalling system

Bhubaneswar: A comprehensive investigation carried out at a high level has determined that the primary cause of the Balasore train accident was attributed to “incorrect signalling.”

The inquiry has shed light on “oversights at various levels” within the signalling and telecommunication (S&T) department, and has acknowledged that if previous warnings had been reported, the tragic incident could have been averted.

The Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) has submitted an independent report to the Railway Board, which highlights that despite deficiencies in the signalling work, the S&T staff could have rectified the situation had they been informed about the “repeated abnormal behavior” of switches connecting two parallel tracks by the station manager of Bahanaga Bazar, where the accident occurred.

Furthermore, the report indicates that the absence of an approved circuit diagram specific to the station led to an incorrect approach in replacing the electric lifting barrier at level crossing gate 94 in Bahanaga Bazar. This erroneous step resulted in improper wiring. The report mentions that a team of field supervisors attempted to modify the wiring diagram but failed to accurately replicate it.

Moreover, the report brings attention to a similar incident that took place on May 16, 2022, at Bankranayabaz station in the Kharagpur Division of South Eastern Railway, which was also caused by faulty wiring and cable issues. It states that if corrective measures had been taken after this incident to address the problem of incorrect wiring, the accident at BNBR could have been prevented.