Bhubaneswar: With dense fog posing a challenge during the night and early morning in various railway sections, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) has taken up a number of initiatives to check mishaps.
ECoR has now geared up its manpower to cope with areas prone to be affected by fog. Moreover, precautions have been taken for running of trains during the current winter season.
While loco pilots have been instructed to regulate train speeds depending on visibility conditions for the safety of passengers and train movement, several precautions have been taken for safety measures.
A railway official said luminous and fluorescent strips have been painted on overhead equipment masts, level crossings and busy traffic areas before an approaching ‘Stop Signal’ to warn the loco pilot. ECoR has also introduced cold weather patrolling system by deputing patrolmen with proper training and monitoring.
Apart from this, surprise checks and footplate inspections are being done during late night and early morning hours at all sensitive places.
Following are the guidelines issued by ECoR in it official notification:
USE OF DETONATORS IN FOGGY WEATHER: Detonators are used in foggy weather or otherwise when visibility is severely impaired, to provide an audible indication to the locomotive crew that the train is approaching a signal. These detonators are flat, disc-shaped metal containers, usually coloured red, which contain an explosive mixture that detonates with the application of pressure when the wheels of the locomotive pass over.
COUNSELLING OF STATION STAFF: Station managers have been provided with adequate detonators and have been advised to assess whether visibility is impaired badly enough to warrant the use of detonators. Staff posted at stations, cabins and gates have also been instructed to place detonators whenever there is thick fog to warn the loco pilots according to laid down rules and regulations.
COUNSELLING OF TRAIN GUARDS: Guards of trains have been counselled and instructed to watch that the loco-pilot do not exceed the prescribed speed limit during fog. Guards have been advised to use flasher lamps during daytime also during fog.
LUMINOUS INDICATION STRIPS AT LEVEL CROSSINGS AND REAR COACHES: Lifting barriers at busy crossing levels to be provided with luminous indication strips. Similarly, the rear portion of the trains fitted with LED based flasher tail lights in addition to Flashing Red Tail Lamp along with luminous indication strips.
COLD WEATHER PATROLLING AND SURPRISE FOOT PLATE INSPECTION (From Engine): ECoR has also introduced Cold Weather Patrolling System by deputing Winter Patrolman with proper training and monitoring. Apart from this, surprise checks and Footplate inspections are being done during late night and early morning hours i.e. from midnight to 7 AM at all sensitive places.
COUNSELLING OF PILOTS: Since safety of passengers is the top most priority, loco pilots have been instructed to take precautions during fog. When the loco pilot in his judgment feels that visibility is restricted due to fog, he has been given the authority to run at a speed at which he feels that he can control the train or stop it whenever required without taking any risk. This speed shall in any case not be more than 60kmph. The loco pilots have also been advised to use the horn frequently to warn nearby gateman and road users of an approaching train.