Indian Rly gears up to run trains safely, avoid delays due to fog

Railway officials told to ensure adequate supply of detonators, which are fixed on the rails and when an engine passes over them, they explode with a loud report so as to attract the attention of the drivers

Railway's finance

New Delhi: With the foggy weather gripping Gangetic plains and visibility going lower by the day, the Indian Railways has taken various steps to ensure smooth, safe and timely operations of the trains to avoid delays.

As per the directions from the railway ministry, the respective zonal offices have been asked to arrange reliable fog safe devices for the loco pilots in all locomotives running in fog affected areas during fog. The railway officials have also been told to arrange adequate supply of detonators, which are used as fog signals for the loco drivers.

Detonators are fixed on the rails and when an engine passes over them, they explode with a loud report so as to attract the attention of the driver. Lime marking across the track at the sighting board (or at distant signal in case of double distant signals) must be done. All signal sighting boards, whistle boards, fog signal posts and busy vulnerable level crossing gates which are accident prone should either be painted or provided with yellow/black luminous strips, said a statement from Indian Railways.

Officials said that they have decided that with the use of fog devices in locomotives so that maximum permissible speed during foggy/inclement weather condition can be enhanced from 60 kmph to 75 kmph.

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Additionally, the work of repainting for their proper visibility should be completed before onset of foggy season. Lifting barriers at busy level crossings, where necessary, to be provided with yellow/black luminous indication strips.

The new existing seating-cum-luggage rake (SLRs) are already being fitted with LED based flasher tail light, therefore, the existing SLRs with fixed red lights should be modified and fixed with LED lights. This will be a very important step to ensure safety in foggy weather. “It should be ensured that retro reflective strip in Sigma shape for identification of stop signal be provided as per existing instructions,” read the letter from the Indian railway.

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The officials said that in view of increased hours on road, the railways may create infrastructure at new/additional crew changing locations. Simultaneously, the loco/crew/rake links be reviewed during the period of fog. All crews (loco pilots/assistant loco pilots and guards) on stationary duty should be utilized for train working especially during fog.

Loco pilots to observe all precautions during foggy season. During fog, when the loco pilot in his judgment feels that visibility is restricted due to fog, he shall run at a speed at which he can control the train so as to be prepared to stop short of any obstruction; this speed shall in any case not be more than 75 Kmph.

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Loco pilots have been instructed to whistle frequently to warn the gatemen and road users of an approaching train at level crossings.

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