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877 devices to help trains PASS through

TECH BOOST: A Fog PASS. Telegraph picture

Patna: East Central Railway (ECR) has procured 877 Fog PASS (fog pilot assistance system) or FSD, which is GPS-enabled, in view of the foggy weather.

The device helps loco-pilots calculate the distance of the next signal and accordingly control train speed.

The device has been introduced to ensure passenger safety and also maintain punctuality of trains during winter, especially in the Gangetic belt where train journeys are badly hit because of fog.

Many trains in ECR, including the Rajdhani, are running late because of fog, but ECR officials said they cannot take any chances when it comes to passenger safety.

But, the Fog PASS could make a difference. It has been given to loco pilots of most passenger and mail express trains. The device is GPS-enabled and the route is installed in the device. "The device alerts the loco pilot 1200m before an approaching signal," ECR chief public relations officer Rajesh Kumar said. "It has audio visual inputs, where the device shows the route and alerts the loco pilot through audio. Accordingly, the driver controls speed."

The device has been introduced in most of the fog affected railway zones, which includes Northern Railways, North-Central, North-Eastern, North-Western, NorthEast-Frontier and East Central Railway.

Earlier, loco pilots used to get alerted about an approaching signal in foggy weather when signalman set off a blast.

"In foggy weather, loco pilots cannot see signals, because it is not visible, and have to reduce train speed to look for it, delaying the journey. But this new device will give the loco pilot precise information about the distance of an approaching signal and also the level crossing,"Rajesh said.

Earlier, the fog signalman with detonators used to place detonators on track 270-280m from the signal to inform in advance about the distance of an approaching signal.

There is a rule that if the driver cannot see the track clearly he should proceed at very slow speed, not exceeding 10kmph. The maximum permissible speed by the railways in foggy condition is 60 kmph.

This portable device is already being used on most premium trains and so far it has been a big help for ECR. When the loco pilot goes on duty, the device is given to him. It is available on the Patna Rajdhani as well.

Every train on the Danapur, Sonepur and Samastipur division is given this device. It is being rolled out on Mughalsarai and Dhanbad divisions of ECR as well.

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