Chinese bogies land drivers, commuters in soup | Daily News


Chinese bogies land drivers, commuters in soup

The recent derailment of the Yal Devi train in Galgamuwa.
The recent derailment of the Yal Devi train in Galgamuwa.

The Electric-Diesel Locomotive Shed (ELS) drivers’ union refrained from driving trains attached with Chinese coaches from midnight Monday (31).

They claimed the brake system of these coaches is not fit for local rail tracks. Therefore they find it difficult to run the trains smoothly and there are frequent accidents.

These Chinese coaches were imported to Sri Lanka in 2008. Since then, this issue had been discussed but no solution given by the authorities, the Daily News learns.

A driver from the ELS shed told Daily News that the Railways Department is ready to punish drivers when something happenes. But, it is not taking any action to rectify this big mistake.”

However, the Driver’s Union had not given any prior notice to the Railway General Manager until the last moment about their decision. Therefore, passengers with reserved tickets to long destinations like Jaffna had faced severe inconvenience on Monday as the optional trains run yesterday had no separate compartments for reserved ticket holders.

Railways General Manager Dilantha Fernando said the Drivers’ Union had a discussion with him yesterday and agreed to work with the Chinese coaches for a short time period until a solution is provided.

He said the passengers who had reserved seats for the ‘Observation saloon’ and the Second Class will be refunded if a request is made by them. Sri Lanka Railways had imported 100 such compartments from China in 2008 and 99 of them are in running condition at present.

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