An alert train captain recently averted what could have been the a major Mumbai Monorail accident, involving passengers.
Raising serious safety concerns about the brand new monorail, earlier this month the 'Constant-Velocity Joint' that connects the traction motor with gear box broke at Chembur while it was ferrying passengers.
The alert captain immediately asked passengers to get off the train and it was taken to the maintenance depot at Wadala at a snail's pace of 2-10kmph.
Each of these joints weighs anywhere above 10-15kg. Just below the CV Joint, there's a plate called 'CV Catcher'. In case of CV Joint disintegrating, 'CV Catcher' holds the broken parts, but there is a possibility of some small and loose metal particles falling below on the road.
On the afternoon of June 11 (between 11.30am and 2pm), senior train captain Rajesh Adhav was piloting a 'blue coloured' or 'Rolling Stock Train Number-9' (RST-9). Passengers boarded the rake at Chembur and by the time it approached VN Purav Marg & RC Marg Junction station, Adhav heard abnormal sounds coming from the machine of the train.
Taking no chances, he asked passengers to get off the train at the station. After a quick round of consultations and discussions with the operations control centre (OCC), it was decided to pilot the train at a snail's pace for the balance distance of around 8km. Usually, the monorail runs at an average speed of 31kmph, but the pilot of RST-9 was double careful and kept the speed well below 10kmph; in fact at around 5kmph.
dna tried but could not contact Adhav to know his reaction and version.
Once the train reached the depot, it was found that one of the Constant Velocity Joints or CV Joints had broken.
According to sources, thankfully on June 11 the apron door of the rakes did not give away due to which no passenger or pedestrian got to know the exact problem with RST-9. Apron doors are opened to service and maintain the machine. It is positioned at the bottom half of the monorail.
The only people who were aware about the issue were the train captain, OCC and maintenance staff.
Despite repeated attempts, UPS Madan, MMRDA commissioner did not respond to clarify what measures it would take to ensure quality of rolling stock as well as passenger safety. Mumbai Monorail is one of the iconic projects of the MMRDA divided into two phases, namely 8.93km Chembur-Wadala Depot (currently operational) and 10.24km Wadala Depot-Sant Ghadge Maharaj Chowk / Jacob Circle (to be ready by mid-2015). The first phase was inaugurated on February 1, 2014.
Exact location of CV joint
Each bogie of Scomi is designed to support static and fatigue loads for as long as 30 years. To provide a smooth ride, the straddle-type bogie design features full vertical pneumatic shock absorbers and a progressive stiffness lateral suspension. Its traction system is connected to the axle through 'CV joint shafts'.