New Delhi: Inaptness in performing duties by the loco pilots is not the sole cause of train accidents in the country but the carelessness in their deployment by their concerned authorities is also being identified as one of the main reason behind such accidents. Actually the diesel engine locomotives are being run by those pilots who are trained to run the electric engines and vice versa. Since the control and the lever are installed differently in electric and diesel engines, the loco pilots are prone to get confused while operating the trains.

According to a committee on railway safety which is headed by Dr Anil Kakodkar, there is no provision for separate cadre of loco pilots for operating diesel and electric engines. Many times, loco pilots of electric engines are deployed in to run the diesel engines and vice versa. This has been the cause of many accidents which could have been averted.

At present the railways are equipped with 19 types of electric and diesel engines. The settings of control and lever are distinctly placed in these engines. Separate training and expertise are required to operate the two types of engines and even a minor mistake can lead to fatal accidents.

The committee has recommended for the provision of the separate cadre of loco pilots specialised in specific engine techniques to avert any untoward incident. Also, brakes and control must be installed in same positions in both types of engines.

The committee expressed unhappiness over not introducing the measures even after the recommendation of the railway safety commission during the investigation of several train accidents.