Official figures have shown that the Indian Railways had the best safety record in five decades during the 2017-18 fiscal, reports the Indian Express. 73 accidents were reported till 30 March this year, down from last year’s 104.
The reason behind this is clear – the Railways’ increased focus on track renewal and maintenance of 4,405 km of old railway tracks in the country. The current fiscal’s track renewal has seen the highest performance, exceeding the government target of 4,400 km and crossing the previous best performance in 2004-05 when 4,175 km of track renewal was carried out.
2017-18 also saw the longest distance traveled by trains at 1,170.7 million train km. Train km is a unit used to measure the corresponding distance traveled by a train per km. The total distance traveled by trains in 1960-61 was a mere 388.1 million train km.
The most significant revelation, however is that despite trains have travelled an additional 74 millikon track km in 2017-18 over the last five years, accidents have come down massively.
In 1960-61, there were 2,131 accidents while in 1970-71 it had come down to 840. However it went up in 1980-81 to 1,013 before coming down to 532 in 1990-91.
When compared to the previous fiscal, data shows the number of accidents have dropped drastically. 2016-17 saw 607 people killed or injured in railway accidents, 74 derailments and 30 accidents at railway crossings while 2017-18 saw these figures go down to 254, 54 and 13 respectively.
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