Strangely, Coromandel Exp met most accidents in Odisha stretch

735-km Western Dedicated Freight Corridor to be ready by year-end

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The Coromandel Express, country’s one of the flagship super fast trains has resumed its journey on the tracks after the horrific 2 June Balasore tragedy, but, it seems, the authorities might have shillyshallied, especially on the 370-km Odisha stretch, suggests records at the South Eastern Railway.

The train incidentally had met with accidents twice on the country’s Independence Day. Out of 10 mishaps the train faced so far, five occurred in Odisha alone.

The senior SE Railway officials, currently busy in restoration work at Balasore, however, are not fully aware of this ‘strange’ recurrence. The tracks laid in the stretch couldn’t be blamed, neither the locos pulling the superfast train.


Aditya Chowdhury, chief public relations officer of SE Railway said, “The same tracks are being used by all the trains passing through the same stretch and the same set of equipment are working for all the trains here. So, it could be mere coincidence,” he said.

“The matter needs to be rechecked,” said Shujat Hashmi, the divisional railway manager, Kharagpur, who’s also busy in restoration works at Bahanaga Bazar, Balasore. In Odisha, on Independence Day in 1997, the train met its first collision tragedy, when the 12842 Down Coromandel Express collided with 12841 Up Coromandel Express near Brahmapur killing 75 passengers on board.

The last one, on 2 June, proved to be the deadliest, killing 288, the officials said. The Indian Railway had introduced Coromandel Express on 6 March, 1977. Currently, the train is being hauled by WAP-7, a 5,000 HP classic electric locomotive, manufactured by the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works.

The locomotive hauls Coromandel Express at an average speed of 130 kmph. After the 1997 Independence Day mishap, the train incidentally suffered a major derailment on the Independence Day in 1999, while crossing Nagavali river at Dusi in Andhra Pradesh.

Around fifty passengers died and 500 suffered injuries in the mishap. On 15 March, 2002, seven coaches of the train derailed at Padugupadu Road overbridge in Tamil Nadu’ Nellore, leaving a hundred injured. On 13 February, 2009, Coromandel Express caught fire after leaving Jajpur station in Odisha, which claimed the lives of 16 passengers.

The Up Coromandel Express further derailed near Nellore on 6 December, 2011 in which 32 passengers died. Further, on 14 January, 2012, a fire broke out in the general compartment (second from loco) near Lingaraj station. Twelve carriages of the train came off the rails soon after the train left Jajpur station on 13 February, 2013.

On 18 April, 2015, two boggies of Coromandel Express were badly damaged when the train caught fire at Nidadavolu in Andhra Pradesh