Stainless steel coaches drastically reduce collision impact minimzing loss of lives
New Delhi, 25th November, 2016: The recent tragic train accident involving the Indore Patna Express claimed over 150 lives, making it one of the deadliest train accidents in the last 17 years. The derailment also led to over 200 people being critically injured and most of them were trapped for hours inside the mangled remains of the coach before being rescued. The accident site was full of heart rending scenes with people having lost their loved ones, children turned into orphans and many becoming disabled for life.
In light of the tragic mishap, Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA), the apex body representing the stainless steel industry, stresses the need for designing and building safer stainless steel coaches for passenger safety. The Indian Railways has already announced the replacement of all old steel coaches by stainless steel in a phased manner. In the light of the accident of Indore Patna Express, the conversion of coaches needs to be fast tracked by the railways before any more many innocents lose their lives. Developed countries like USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Korea & Australia and many East Asian countries use stainless steel for passenger coaches.
Stainless Steel coaches are stronger and absorb more energy during collision as compared to carbon steel. They also have the ability to withstand considerable impact without fracturing. Since it progressively crumples from the point of impact, risk of injury and fatalities are drastically reduced. The lesser deformation of damaged coaches further helps in rescue operations. If one were to look at the current accident, the old design coaches were so badly mangled and deformed that precious time was lost in trying to reach to the passengers trapped inside. As a result, the number of casualties was far higher than it should have been.
Stressing on the need for stainless steel coaches, the Anil Kakodkar High-Level Safety Review Committee mandated a complete switch over to LHB production within five years. “We expect railways to act now on immediate basis and switch to stainless steel coaches for making rail journey safer and prevent any further loss of lives due to accidents”, said K.K Pahuja, President ISSDA.
Indian Railways use stainless steel coaches in LHB designs for Rajdhani, Shatabdi and other premium trains. These LHB coaches are designed to be anti-telescopic, which means they do not pile up over each other in the event of derailment thereby reducing casualties. Approximately 22 million people, every day commute through trains in India. Hence, there is an urgent need to replace existing coaches with stainless steel coaches to ensure better safety for the passengers. LHB coaches made of stainless steel are designed to be lighter but stronger than normal steel coacher. Further, these coaches have a competitive longer life cycle, better life cycle cost & good corrosion resistance.
Indian Stainless Steel Development Association is the unifying point for the growth and development of stainless steel usage in India. Founded in 1989 by leading stainless steel producers, it was formed with the explicit objective of diversifying the applications of stainless steel in India and increasing usage volumes in the country. At the point of formation of ISSDA, the main visible application in daily life was essentially household kitchenware. It currently has a membership of over 145 companies engaged in the stainless steel business.