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East Central Railway to minimise winter delays and mishaps

Crackers, device & men to fight fog

By Amit Bhelari in Patna
  • Published 10.12.18, 12:26 AM
  • Updated 10.12.18, 12:26 AM
  • a min read
Weather Guard: Heavy fog enveloping Patna Junction Telegraph file picture

East Central Railway (ECR) has decided to take precautionary measures so that the least number of trains are affected by the foggy morning conditions that winter invariably brings.

Hence, ECR has decided to install the GPS-enabled Fog Pass pilot assistance system. The device helps the train driver to calculate the distance of the next signal and accordingly controls the speed of the train.

The device has been introduced with an aim to ensure safety of passenger and also to maintain punctuality of trains during the winter season, specially along the Gangetic belt where the most number of trains are affected due to fog, including the Rajdhanis.

“Apart from the Fog Pass, fog men would be deployed on the railway tracks who will set off firecrackers at a certain distance to alert the loco pilot about the conditions,” said ECR chief public relations officer Rajesh Kumar.

“ECR has installed this device in all the mail, express and passenger trains. We will install the device even in goods train by the end of this year. This will help us in maintaining punctuality.”

The device can alert the loco pilot 1,200 metres before the approaching signal. The device shows the route and alerts the loco pilot through sound and accordingly the driver controls the speed so that the train does not overshoot the signal. To make the signal clearer, ECR has decided to paint signal sighting boards and fog signal posts in shining black and yellow.

“Before the arrival of the signal, there would be a line drawn with limestone to make the pilot more alert during winter. Instructions have been issued to all the station masters to keep at least a fog man. Before every stop signal, the retro-reflective strip (which reflects light) in sigma shape for identification of all signals will be provided to all signal locations for easy identification during foggy conditions,” Rajesh said.

In case of heavy fog, detonators would set off crackers 270 metres before the stop.

The maximum permissible speed by the railways in foggy condition is 60 kmph. Trains on the ECR can go up to 130kmph.

All station masters and loco pilots have been asked to inform the control room in case of foggy condition after checking the situation with the visibility test object, the black and white iron pole set up near the railway tracks 180 metres from where the station master sits.