Railway employees want dept. lapses probed as well

By Dasun Edirisinghe

Railway employees yesterday urged the Transport Minister Kumara Welgama to probe the lapses and shortcomings of the Railway Department as part of the on-going inquiry against those responsible for the Pothuhera rail accident on April 30.

President of the Pro-JVP All Ceylon Railway Employees’ General Union (ACREGU) S. P. Vithanage told The Island that always inquiries conducted against employees when an accident took place, but the lapses of the department including the technical problems of train engines should also be looked into.

He said the break system did not operate properly in the S-11 power sets imported from India, but an S-11 power set with 12 compartments operated as an intercity train from Colombo to Pallai.

"Deploying such trains for long distance journeys is risky," Vithanage said.

He said that it was compulsory to have a sub guard on a long distance train, but S-11 train heading for Pallai had only one guard working on a contract basis.

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