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Improving the Safety of the Indian Railways

The Indians Railways is one of the most extensive networks in the world. Ferrying close to 8.26 billion people in the years 2017-2018, it is also one of the most highly used transport systems in the world. The management of such a large organization is a mammoth task. Technology has made the job a little bit easier. Using different websites, you can book tickets, find out train times, and the live running status of various trains. Since a large number of people are dependent on the railways for their travel, such measures have made it easier for them.

 Ensuring the safety of protection of such a large number of people travelling is something that is sure to give officers sleepless nights.

Safety isn’t limited to just the people travelling on the trains but ensuring that people are not killed or injured at level crossings or on the tracks is also of utmost importance. Additionally, the presence of extreme weather conditions may cause accidents. The sheer mass of the trains and coaches is so much that even travelling at slow speeds and running into a person or car will have dire consequences.

Some of the safety mechanisms implemented by the Indians Railways are as follows:

  • Eliminating unmanned level crossings: Level crossings are hazardous. Without a person overseeing such intersections, the chance of accidents goes up exponentially. At the 2017 Union Budget, it was announced that unmanned level crossings would have to be eliminated. A simple solution was presented, which called for the construction of Road Over Bridges (ROBs) and Road Under Bridges (RUBs). The goal was to eliminate about 1200 crossings every year with the development of these ROBs and RUBs.
  • Automated fog pilot assistance system: Extreme fog in isolated regions can prove to be a death-trap. The train signals may not be visible. GPS-based Fog Pilot Assistance Systems were implemented using railway signalling devices. The old practice involved the use of firecrackers in warning the drivers. This was a crude, albeit utilitarian method to capture the driver’s attention. Such devices are especially crucial in the Northern Railway zones, and around 6000 such sensors were installed in 2017.
  • Fire Alarm System: The manual fire alarm, accompanied by the “Do Not Pull” sign is something most people who have travelled on trains are familiar with. An automatic fire alarm sensor would eliminate the annoying situation when a person knowingly or unknowingly pulls the chain. It is also much safer since fires that are not noticed by people will not go undetected. It is a must in the air-conditioned compartments of all trains since these do not have windows that can be pried open easily.
  • CCTV Monitoring: CCTV cameras are an excellent tool to monitor stations and trains. From discouraging thefts and other crimes to ensuring that the passengers feel a little safer, they are an excellent addition to the Railways. Around 960 stations are slated to have CCTV cameras installed in them by the end of the year. From 2017, certain trains are also being equipped with CCTV. With women’s safety becoming a major concern, such steps have earned praise from people across the country.
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