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Chapter V

 
THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY
 
4.1 The goals of new technologies are to improve safety through reduced human dependence, intervention and improved asset reliability and at the same time reduce costs as the most costly technology may not be necessarily the safest. In this direction, rail-wheel interaction has to be the thrust area with a view to reduce wears and tear of both rail and rolling stock. Greater association of industries, technologies, R&D institutions and Department of Science & Technology (Ministry of HRD) will have to be ensured in the development of new technology. The increased periodicity or reduced frequency of maintenance will be another priority area. Appropriate technologies will be adopted in phases during the Plan period.

4.2 Track & Bridges
  • Rail flaw detection
  • Rail grinding
  • Track management system
  • Optimisation of schedule of dimensions
  • Improved thermit welding
  • Formation/Rehabilitation
  • Improved fastening
  • Improved high-speed turnouts
  • Bridge management system
  • Under-water inspections of bridges
  • Mapping of unknown foundations and integrity testing of foundations
  • Non-destructive testing techniques like Ultra Sonics, Acoustic Emission, Strain Gauging and Radar etc.
  • ki Fatigue life and residual life assessment techniques
4.3 Rolling Stock
  • Achievement of zero defect in between two scheduled maintenance of rolling stock
  • Disc brakes with microprocessor controlled wheel slide/slip prevention mechanism<
  • Aerodynamic designs
  • Radial and self-steering bogies
  • Wheels and axles of improved metallurgy
  • On-board diagnostics
  • Intelligent brake system in locomotives and other rolling stock
  • Censors for detecting dragging equipment, Hot-boxes, Hot wheels
  • Crash worthiness in coaches
  • Tight lock CBC couplers with anti-climbing features
  • New environmental friendly paint system
  • Bogie mounted brake system
  • Rail-wheel interaction status, including development of track friendly bogies, Wheel flat detection system, o­n-line monitoring of rail and wheel
  • profiles
  • Derailment detection devices
  • Driver friendly cabs in locos
  • Guard friendly brake van
  • Disaster Management
  • Fire-proof coaches
  • Modification in toilet discharge system in coaches to prevent rail corrosion
  • Computer controlled master-slave multiple loco operation for heavier/longer trains (locotrols)
  • Solid state interlocking
  • Last Vehicle Check and end of train telemetry devices
  • Train Protection and Warning System
  • Anti-Collision Device
  • Train Actuated Warning Device
  • Mobile Train Radio Communication System
4.5 General
  • Driver vigilance control device
  • Predictive maintenance techniques
  • Ergonomic and eco-friendly practices
  • Remote monitoring and data recording analysis for maintenance/replacement decisions
(The list is not exhaustive as new areas for improving productivity with further technological developments will become available in future.)

4.6 Information Technology (IT)

One of the goals would be to reduce drudgery and to utilise manpower for more innovative and productive purposes. The Indian Railways would like to have much more asset reliability and higher safety through continuous monitoring of state of health of the assets and feedback. For all these, the IR will have to work o­n IT-based projects to solve problems and inculcate an IT culture.

Few applications of IT, related to safety, would be in following areas :-

  • Track and bridge management
  • Emergency response including accident and disaster management
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Train protection and Warning System
  • Mapping of rail network and tracking of trains using Global Positioning System (GPS
  • Computer aided remote controlled signalling and train describer system with display panels
4.7 Research and Development ( R&D)

The aim is to achieve a high quality R&D staff in addition to absorption and assimilation of new technology. The functions of Research, Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) may undergo a major shift. Railways expenditure o­n R&D, as a proportion to gross earnings, has been about 0.2% o­nly, which may be suitably stepped up as recommended in many studies.

It is proposed to build a scientific cadre in RDSO to provide a continuity in R&D efforts and consequently achieve high quality of research and development.

At present, RDSO is seized of wheel impact load detector, crashworthy coach design, prevention of rock falls in cuttings, datalogger for Ultra Sonic Flaw Detection (USFD) machines, development of track side bogie monitoring system, development of test-track facility, development of measuring wheel technology etc. Technology mission o­n railway safety is being launched in association with IIT/Kanpur and Department of Science and Technology (Ministry of HRD) to tackle some burning issues like wheel flat detection, problem of visibility during foggy weather etc.

Following items will also be pursued during the Plan period :

  • Laying of long-welded rails over bridges
  • Vibration signature analysis and development of rail vehicle based testing car
  • Continuous foundation scour monitoring using Time Domain Reflectometry
  • Wheel flat detection
  • Visibility problems during foggy weather

STRATEGIES FOR TARGETS FOR REDUCTION IN ACCIDENTS
 
5.1 Barring a few years, the Indian Railways (IR) have been making continous improvement in safety performance as far as number of consequential train accidents is concerned. Frequency of accidents per million train kilometers, an index adopted by most of the railway systems, has been falling gradually. The year 2002-2003 has witnessed the lowest number of accidents per million train kilometers.

5.2 Ideally, the Indian Railways should provide accident-free and calualty-free service and achieve zero level of risk for its passengers. Though it may not be possible to achieve the aspired level of safety in near future, the IR are fully commited to ensure that all its activities are managed to the highest level of safety which is reasonably possible to achieve.

5.3 The trend, composition and fatalities of different types of accidents during the 10 year period (1992-93 to 2001-02) are indicated below :

Type of consequential train accidentsAverage number of accidents per yearPercentage share(%) of type of accidentsFatalities per year in each category of accidentsPercentage share(%) of deaths in each type of accidentsPercentage(%) increase/decrease in average number of accidents w.r.t. previous decade (82-83 to 91-92)
(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)
Collisions32714838(-)18
Derailments333755214(-)38
Level crossing accidents7216176
(all road users)
46(+)23
Fire accidents8282(-)40
Misc.1--- 
Total446100384100 
     (-) decrease
(+) increase

From the above it is apparent that 46% of total fatalities are of road users and the balance 54% are predominantly of passengers. Collisions contribute substantially to the passenger fatalities. Derailments, though in much larger numbers, cause much less fatalities.

5.4 Collision-free System:

With the completion of track circuiting works, provision of block proving axle counters, data loggers and a comprehensive safety coverage proposed to be given by ACD over the next few years, it will become a `mission area' for Indian Railways to eliminate collisions and consequent deaths. In this direction, all works related to prevention of collisions are proposed to be completed in the Plan period. This is likely to take the IR to realize the dream of a collision-free system.

5.5 Level Crossings: Efforts to contain accidents

Despite gradual manning of level crossings, construction of Road overbridges / Road underbridges (ROBs/RUBs) and intensive public awareness campaigns, it has not been possible for the Indian Railways to tackle the problem of reduction of level crossing accidents. As they are predominantly due to lapses o­n the part of road users, and in view of stupendous increase in road traffic, there does not appear to be any let up in the mishaps. As the IR do not have much direct physical control or intervention, it will be the aim of the Indian Railways, at least, to contain and control the accidents at rail-road intersections at the existing level. A coordinated approach, involving State Governments., various influence-groups and intensive social awareness programmes will be principal measures to attain the objective.

5.6 Fire Accidents

Though the average number of fire accidents as well as the annual average fatalities are 8 per year for both, a stray major fire in train accident may lead to disaster. In general, nearly 40 % of fire accidents are caused by unidentified elements, o­n which the Railways have little control. With the rising social awareness, stringent scrutiny o­n trains, induction of fire-proof coaches & more and more technological inputs, it is assessed that the fire accidents and consequent fatalities would be reduced by 80% as compared to their present level.

5.7 Derailments

The derailments, being the largest component of total consequential train accidents is required to be tackled with greater urgency. Around 75% of derailments occur due to `railway staff failure', and another 10 % derailments are caused by `equipment failures'.

Around 15% are caused by failure of `other than railway staff', sabotage and incidental reasons.

With the focussed attention o­n human resource, technological upgradation and modern maintenance practices, the present level of human failures causing derailments is bound to improve substantially. With phasing out of derailment-prone and less reliable 4-wheeler tank wagons from the fleet, investments being made through SRSF/DRF into rehabilitation of track and rolling stock etc., and anticipated improvement in the skills and quality of manpower through enhancement of HRD, it is feasible to attain a substantial reduction in derailments.

However, it is noted that few derailments, which occur o­n account of rail/weld failure (average 25 derailments per year), may not reduce substantially due to inherent infirmities in the existing rails. Taking the non-controllable factors viz. outside interference and incidental factors like landslides etc as constant, the overall reduction in derailments is assessed to be around 60% by 2013 as against 38% reduction achieved in the previous decade (1992-93 to 2001-02).

The IR have planned for crashworthy coaches (discussed later in this chapter) and tight-lock coupler with anti-climbing features, which will go a long way to contain the number of casualties in case of serious accidents.

5.8 Overall Consequential Train Accidents

Based o­n the above mentioned facts, the present level of accidents is targetted to be reduced significantly by the end of the plan period (2012-13) as detailed below. For this purpose, present level of accidents has been taken as annual average of three years i.e. 2000-01, 2001-02, & 2002-03.

Type of consequential train accidentsPresent Level of accidents
(Yearly average)
Estimated accidents in 2012-13Remarks
Collisions 22 Zero
Derailments  282 113 60% reduction
Level crossing accidents 90 90 No Change
Fire accidents 14  3  80% reduction
Misc  5 --
Total 413 206 -

The total million train kilometers are expected to touch a figure of 1192 in the year 2012-2013. It is, thus, estimated that index of accidents per million train kilometres would be reduced from 0.44 (in 2002-03) to 0.17 in 2012-13.
Zonal Railways and Divisions will set their targets in similar manner for consequential train accidents, `other train accidents', yard accidents, and indicative accidents.

5.9 Track Circuiting

A major thrust was given to track circuiting at stations in mid-nineties, to serve as a technical aid to station staff to prevent collisions. It is proposed to cover all main BG routes, having passenger traffic, in next five years.

In the last five years, o­n an average 900 to 1000 locations per year have been provided with track circuits. Track circuiting works o­n A, B, C, D, D.Spl, E & E.Spl routes are being done in a phased manner. It has been o­ne of the most important safety aids provided at the stations, which has reduced collisions in station area. Works of track circuiting have been sanctioned under SRSF. Whereas works o­n over 2250 Stations of A, B, C have already been sanctioned, projects o­n other routes, of BG and MG are proposed to be taken up.

5.10 Block Proving by Axle Counters

Block proving by axle counters is to be provided o­n `A', `B' and `C' routes. All new works of panels will be provided with this device, to prevent collisions in the block sections due to some `parted' load being left out.

5.11 Auxiliary Warning System (AWS)/Train Protection Warning System (TPWS)

To eliminate human error in passing signals at danger, this system may be tried o­n certain stretches. Auxiliary Warning System (AWS) has been working satisfactorily over a decade in Mumbai suburban sections of Central and Western Railways.

5.12 Anti-Collision Device (ACD)

Anti-collision device is a recently developed device by Konkan Railway Corporation to prevent collision like situation e.g., head-on collision, side and rear-end collision. This device may also help in detecting train partings and provide audible and visual warnings at level crossing gates when trains approach them. At present provision of ACD is sanctioned o­n about 3500 route kilometres o­n Southern, South Central,South Western, Northeast Frontier and Northern Railways. ACD survey for 10000 route kilometres is also sanctioned. ACD will be further extended o­n entire BG section during the plan period o­n priority.

5.13 Light Emitting Diode (LED) based Loco Flasher Lights are proposed to be provided in rear of Guards brake van (SLRs) o­n passenger carrying trains. They will be identical to loco flashers and will be in addition to the guard's tail lamp. They would be switched o­n during any out-of-course stoppage in block section.

5.14 LED-based Flashing Tail Lamps are being provided to guards. Similarly, LED based Hand Signal Lamps would be provided to all stationary staff connected with train operations.

5.15 Signal circuitry of four _ aspect Multiple Aspect Colour Light Signalling (MACLS) will be modified to provide for interlocking of starter and advanced starter. `Negative' slide with ASM will be dispensed with, wherever existing.

5.16 Continuous Track Circuiting

Continuous track circuiting not o­nly helps in improving the capacity with automatic block signalling where more than o­ne train can be sent in a block section but also improves safety. First, all the level crossing gates o­n the section get protected by signals. Secondly, if double rail track circuit (audio frequency track circuit) is adopted, it may also detect electrical discontinuity in rails due to rail/weld failures or acts of sabotage etc. Since the Golden Quadrilaterals along with its diagonals o­n the IR carry the maximum traffic, it is proposed to provide continuous track circuiting o­n priority o­n these sections. Works o­n about 2000 route kilometres have already been sanctioned at a cost of Rs.425 crores.

5.17 Mobile Train Radio Communication

Mobile Train Radio Communication (MTRC) system has an intrinsic potential in enhancing the safety and security in train operations, besides being a valuable aid in providing reliable and secure communication to all those engaged in different facets of railway operations and maintenance functions.
Five works covering nearly 2400 Route Kms. at a cost of Rs.185 crores are sanctioned o­n trial basis.

5.18 Track Renewals

While in service, track is subjected to fatigue and wear and tear. For continued ability of track to withstand the expected traffic, it is required to be renewed periodically, as and when it becomes due for renewal. However, in general, the funds provided for track renewals have been less than those required/projected. Thus annual arisings of track renewal could not be taken care of as they arose. A large kilometerage of track therefore got accumulated as overdue for renewal. With the creation of non-lapsable Special Railway Safety Fund (SRSF) amounting to Rs. 17,000 crores, it is expected that the arrears of track renewal, which stood at 16,538 km as o­n 01.04.2001, will get cleared by 31.03.2007. Year-wise work done and planned is as follows:

YearPhysical work 
(track km) 
Cost Rs. Cr. (Net) Remarks
2001-02 24901119 Actual
2002-0333431657 Actual
2003-0427001407Targetted
2004-0526761400-
2005-0626761200-
2006-072676887-

The annual arising of track renewal is of the order of approximately 2350 track kms for main lines. In addition, certain special works like replacement of bridge timber sleepers, renewal of turnouts, systematic renewal of fittings, welds and ballast are also required at certain time interval. The yard lines also need inputs. These works will be taken care by funding from Depreciation Reserve Fund (DRF) or Revenue.
5.19 Rail/Weld fractures

Rail/Weld fractures due to generation of internal defects or due to corrosion etc., have direct impact o­n the safety. They are potential safety hazards and action has to be continuously taken to control them by following means:

  • Improvement of quality of rails - The Hydrogen content in the rail steel plays a very detrimental role in generation of internal rail defects. The IR purchase rails from Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL/Bhilai). With close interaction and constant persuasion with SAIL/Bhilai, maximum permissible Hydrogen content has now been reduced to 2 ppm which earlier used to be permitted up to 5.5 ppm. It is further proposed to be reduced to 1.5 ppm in next two years i.e. by 2005.

    The IR along with SAIL, have taken a decision to produce 65 to 78 m long rails which will be welded in Bhilai Steel Plant to make a rail panel of length 240 to 260 m. These long rail panels will be directly transported to the site thereby reducing the number of welds. This would also reduce the multiple handling of rails thereby improving the quality. The project is planned to be implemented during the Plan period.

    For transportation of these larger rails, ten mechanized rakes are being procured under Rolling Stock Programme and are likely to be commissioned by 2005-06.
  • USFD Testing of rails - Considering that a large number of rail/weld fractures result in derailments and some flaws go undetected in USFD testing, new equipments would be procured having a computerized recording device. This would enable exhaustive analysis of defects and to identify those which are growing in size.

    The Railways have recently introduced a need-based concept of USFD testing of rails, under which the rails already laid in track will be tested after the passage of 8 gross million tonne (GMT) of traffic. The annual requirement for ultrasonic testing comes to about 1,55,000 km. As the testing at present is being done manually, which is a slow, strenuous and time-consuming process and largely depends upon human judgement, it is planned to get the testing done through SPURT cars, where identified locations can subsequently be confirmed by manual testing. The testing by these cars shall be faster as well as more reliable as it would cover larger cross-sectional area of rail. Two SPURT cars of improved version are to be procured by 2004 and three more by 2008.
  • Improved Thermit Welding - Thermit welding, carried out in open line, generally suffers from poor quality. Some countries have already obtained better weld technology for stronger track. It is proposed to procure the latest technology of thermit welding and the most modern equipment for testing each weld. Efforts are being made to acquire the latest technology of AT welding of rails, being followed o­n developed railway systems. A work costing Rs 30 crores from SRSF has already been sanctioned which is to be completed by 2005.
  • Reduction in thermit welds by mobile flash butt welding - Alumino-Thermit (AT) welds are the weak links in track, whose population is to be gradually reduced and replaced by Flash Butt (FB) welds executed with the help of mobile flash butt weld plants. As a first step mobile flash butt welding will be introduced in construction projects w.e.f. year 2004 and gradually extended to other areas in next five years.
5.20 Way-Side Detection of overloaded rolling stock by in-motion weigh bridges

Such systems are in use o­n advanced railway systems. They help identify the defective wagons causing over stressing of rail. The in-motion weighbridge will help detect over-loading. This will help reduce fatigue of rail/welds and, therefore, reduce chances of fracture. A number of rail/weld failures are caused by over-loaded wagons. It has been planned to install weigh bridges at various locations, and brake gear would be improved to prevent generation of wheel flats. The focus will be o­n installing in-motion weigh bridges selectively o­n identified routes and ensure the functioning of these weigh bridges. Procurement and installation of 39 pitless, electronic-in-motion weigh bridges of 120 tonnes capacity is underway. All new weigh bridges will be installed at originating points o­nly.

5.21 Lubrication of Gauge Face and Friction Modifier o­n top of Rail

Lubrication assists in reduction of wear and prevents derailments. It has therefore been decided that Track Mounted Lubricators shall be tried. A work costing Rs 1.55 crores, has been sanctioned and after successful trial, it will be adopted as a regular measure. Trial for Rail Top Friction Modifiers shall also be conducted to assess their suitability.

5.22 In-situ Rail Stress Measurement

The safety of Long Welded Rails (LWR) track is vitally affected by locked up thermal stresses, which play an important role in the phenomenon of buckling or fractures and thus have important bearing o­n safety. At present, the IR do not have any equipment to objectively assess these stresses and therefore de-stressing operations are carried out based upon the observation of movements at Switch Expansion Joint (SEJ).

Some countries have developed devices to measure stress, in long-welded rails `in-situ' which makes it possible to monitor and take timely action to avoid rail fractures. It has been decided to obtain expertise to measure rail stress `in-situ', in the interest of enhanced safety. This will help in introducing the concept of "Need Based Destressing" of Long Welded Rails ( LWR).

5.23 Track Safety Tolerances

As recommended by the Khanna Committee, efforts will be made by Research Design & Standards Organisation ( RDSO) to draw out safety tolerances for different speeds and categories of track, o­n the basis of practices followed in various countries and after studying the whole gamut of rail-wheel interaction.

5.24 Tresspass o­n Track and sabotage

To contain outside interference with track fittings, it is proposed to continue with following preventive efforts :

  • Development of anti-theft PRC sleepers, fitting and fastening for Short Welded Rail (SWR) stretches in vulnerable areas. These, however, cannot be used in LWR stretches due to technical reasons
  • Burring of two fish bolts o­n vulnerable locations
  • Elimination of fish-plated joints by welding of rails
  • Deputing watchmen o­n important bridges, deep cuttings, tunnels and their approaches, in the sections identified as sabotage prone
  • Undertaking surprise mobile patrolling in night, by joint team of Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Gangman, in such sections
However, State Governments shall have to ensure safety of track and bridges in accordance with the statutory provision of responsibility.

5.25 Modern Bridge Inspection and Management System

Modernization of inspection and assessment systems shall be undertaken. A modern Bridge Management System shall be implemented with following focussed areas:

  • Underwater Inspections of bridges
  • Mapping of unknown foundations and integrity testing of foundations.
  • Non-destructive testing techniques like Ultra Sonics, Acoustic Emission, Strain Gauging and Radar, etc.
  • Fatigue life and residual life assessment techniques
  • Bridge Management system
Projects from (a) to (d) have been approved. After their completion, the technologies shall be adopted over the entire system in a period of 3 to 4 years thereafter.

Mobile Bridge Testing laboratories with some Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) equipments have been approved for 16 zonal railways. In next five years, these laboratories shall be implemented o­n the zonal railways along with balance complement of essential NDT equipment like Impact Echo testers, etc. The total cost of this project shall be approx. Rs. 30 crores.

Mobile Bridge Inspection units shall be provided at least o­ne per zonal railway in next 5 years. Two such units have been sanctioned with bucket, platform and pier inspection units. These will facilitate access to difficult locations like top of trusses and underside of girders and make them easy for proper inspections.

After absorption of the technology of Modern Bridge Inspection and Management Systems and provision of the necessary training, equipment and infrastructure over next five years over the entire system , Bridge rebuilding shall be taken up after testing and detailed evaluations of strength and residual life.

Bridge engineers and supervisors working o­n the bridges for inspection and repairs shall be provided with safety gears like jackets with retro reflective strips, helmets, safety harnesses as required and hard boots etc. in next two years.

5.26 Provision of microprocessor-based speed recorders

The majority of the speed recorders in use o­n the locos o­n the Indian Railways are of electro-mechanical type resulting in reliability problems. It has been decided to switchover to microprocessor-based paperless speed recorders.

5.27 Flasher lights o­n locomotives

Automatic flasher units have been provided o­n all locomotives to enable automatic switching `on' of the flasher lights in case of train parting/alarm chain pulling. This would give immediate indication to the driver of the train coming from the opposite direction in case of derailment etc.

5.28 High intensity Twin - beam Head light for locomotives

Twin beam headlights have the advantage of better illumination and superior reliability as compared to the conventional headlights. These are being provided o­n all new locomotives.

5.29 Provision of Air Dryers o­n locomotives

Provision of air dryers o­n locos serves to avoid mal-functioning of the sensitive air brake equipment o­n Rolling Stock such as distributor valves by removing the moisture in the compressed air supplied by the locomotives. All new as well as rebuilt diesel locos are being provided with air dryers.

5.30 Microprocessor-based Electronic Brake System with resetting VCD, Event Recorder

4000 HP GM and three-phase electric locomotives have this feature to monitor the alertness of the driver through all his normal actions. If driver performs no action for 20 seconds at a stretch, he gets an audio-visual indication and if still he does not react, the brakes come o­n automatically within 10 seconds. o­n all indigenous electric and conventional ALCO locomotives, it is planned to retrofit microprocessor control with VCD and Event Recorder.

5.31 Better and Safer Coaches
Design of lightweight, stainless steel passenger coaches has been procured through a Transfer of Technology (TOT) contract from M/s LHB of Germany. The coach provides better ride index at higher speeds. The design provides a higher safety level as a result of modern technology in use in the design of high-speed bogies. Rail Coach Factory ( RCF) has already turned out the first rake.

5.32 Use of high capacity buffer packs

All new coaches are being manufactured with 10 kj (kilo joules) capacity buffers packs in place of earlier design with 5 kj capacity to absorb more shocks. All new buffers are being procured to the enhanced design.

5.33 Bogie-Mounted Brake System in place of under-floor mounted

Bogie-mounted brake system has superior reliability with fewer brake rigging components. All new coaches are being fitted with this design of air brake system and about 1000 coaches are being retrofitted per annum during POH (Periodic Overhaul).

5.34 Use of disc brakes; 30% reduction in emergency braking distance

Disc brake system with microprocessor controlled wheel slip control system provides faster braking and increases high-speed capability of the coaches. All new coaches are being manufactured with this brake system. With sufficient experience, the work of retrofitment of coaches with disc brakes will be considered.

5.35 Use of Composition Brake Blocks


All broad gauge coaches, excepting high-speed coaches, have been switched over to composition brake blocks. Suitable alternatives are also being developed to replace the

Cast Iron brake blocks used o­n high-speed trains. The composite brake blocks have superior braking behaviour with a more uniform friction coefficient.

5.36 Improved crash worthiness of interior of coaches

51 modifications to coach interior have been adopted to minimize the chances of injury to passengers from sharp edges, corners or protrusions within the coach. Most of these modifications have already been adopted for new coaches. Workshops will also adopt these modifications during the periodic overhaul of coaches.

5.37 Improving the external crash worthiness of coaches

M/s RITES (Rail India Technical & Economic Services Ltd.) have been awarded a contract to carryout the study and develop crash worthy design for passenger coaches through an international expert of repute. RITES will also help in developing in-house expertise at RDSO (Research, Designs and Standards Organisation) as a part of the project. Redesigned coaches will have bodies, which will absorb most of the impact in case of an accident in non-passenger carrying areas, thereby saving precious human life even in the worst disasters.

5.38 Introduction of tight lock couplers and anti-climbing features

Tight lock center buffer type couplers have been adopted for the new technology based o­n LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) type of coaches. Development of center buffer coupler type design for the existing ICF (Integral Coach Factory) coaches has also been completed and testing of the shell of the prototype coach has already been completed. These couplers do not permit the coaches to separate in case of accidents and prevent o­ne coach from climbing o­n another by holding them firmly in vertical plane. This anti-climbing property of the couplers minimizes the chances of a pile up in case of accidents and enhances safety of passengers.

The existing couplers permit disengagement of coupling and consequently climbing of o­ne coach over other, in case of an accident. The adoption of the Tight lock couplers has, therefore, assumed extreme urgency. In view of the safety of passengers ensured by these couplers vis-à-vis the present screw coupling, both the coach manufacturing units have been directed to develop designs of the coaches to allow fitment of the tight lock couplers. This will require major design changes and both ICF and RCF are gearing up to ensure fitment.

5.39 Phasing out of derailment prone and less reliable four-wheeler tank wagons would be done.

5.40 Hot box detectors o­n existing wagon fleet are proposed to be provided.

5.41 Arrears of overaged freight stock (as o­n 31.3.2003) is proposed to be liquidated by 2006. Renewal of fresh overage arisings will be planned o­n year-to-year basis during the 2003-2013 period.

5.42 Use of fire retardant materials

The Indian Railways have adopted fire retardant interior furnishing including, wall paneling, flooring, roof paneling etc. to minimize the risk of fire accidents. Fire retardant curtains and upholstery have been adopted all over the system. Prototype of a `nearly fireproof coach' is expected to be manufactured soon by RCF.

5.43 Provision of emergency exit

AC and non-AC coaches are being provided with emergency escape windows. Provision of emergency escape windows in all new coaches and all coaches coming out from POH will be ensured.

5.44 Rear-view mirror outside loco cab, multi-resetting vigilance control device, audio-visual alarm system in SLRs, will be tried out to contain fire accidents.

5.45 Action Plan for Road Users' Safety

5.45.1 To curb accidents at Manned Level Crossing gates, IR will adopt following multi-pronged strategy:-

Existing Task Force of the Ministry of Railways and State Governments for construction of ROBs/RUBs would be made more effective.

Items to be resolved between the Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways :

  • Speed breakers at level crossings, their standards and maintenance
  • Testing of driving licence applicants with regard to thorough knowledge pertaining to level crossings
  • Widening of roads at selected high density locations to ease movement
  • Training and counselling of road users
  • Lifting barriers with retro-reflective marker in lieu of gate leaves shall be provided o­n double and multiple lines.
  • On manned level crossings, with more than 500 road vehicles per day and where possible, the road width shall be widened in Railway land.
Signalling systems like interlocking arrangements and provision of telephones at LC gates enhances safety considerably. Extended field trials of Train Actuated Warning Devices are under way. These are likely to enhance safety at manned and unmanned LC gates significantly. o­n its success, it is proposed to extend it further o­n other level crossings.
  • Of 16500 manned level crossings, 6600 are already interlocked and provided with signals. It is envisaged that another 2000 gates would get interlocked in next 10 years.
  • Inclusion of do's and don't's near level crossings in primary school curriculum.
  • Reclassification of level crossing gates into `Special Class', `A' class, `B' class and `C' class as per revised criteria based o­n TVU (Train Vehicle Units) and density of road vehicles.
  • Telephones to facilitate communication between gatemen and station staff and illumination at the level crossing gates.
  • Distance of lifting barriers may be increased to 5 metres from centre of track instead of 3 metres, wherever feasible.
5.45.2 To reduce accidents at unmanned level crossings, it is considered necessary to adopt following measures :-
  • All unmanned level crossings shall be provided with modified design of Stop Boards in retro-reflective sheets
  • Basic infrastructure o­n all unmanned level crossings will be ensured and it includes provision of adequate width, normal gradient, level surface for 5 m from centre of the nearest track, Whistle Boards in retro-reflective sheets, specified Road Warning Boards, road surface in good condition and speed breakers/rumble strips etc.
  • All level crossings, as per revised criteria for manning, falling in the three specified categories, are proposed to be manned in next 5 years.
  • Periodic census of level crossings will be carried out by multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Compulsory whistling by train drivers by linking loco whistle to the Vigilance Control Device (VCD).
  • On sections where there are a number of unmanned level crossings, at close proximity, RUBs may be constructed at a convenient location and the remaining level crossings closed.
  • Checking visibility levels at all unmanned level crossings, and taking corrective action for their improvement.
  • Appropriate approach road gradients within railway boundary to be ensured.
  • Intensive social awareness campaigns to counter misadventure in front of approaching trains.
5.45.3 It has been decided to provide Road Over/Under Bridges in replacement of all level crossings o­n cost sharing basis where the TVUs (number of trains x number of road vehicles in 24 hours) exceed o­ne lakh. There are 417 level crossings where the TVUs are more than o­ne lakh and have already been sanctioned as o­n 1.4.2003, for replacement with ROBs/RUBs. There are still 1252 level crossings with TVUs of more than o­ne lakh as o­n 1.4.2003 where the ROBs/RUBs are yet to be sanctioned. These will be sanctioned progressively depending upon the response of the State Governments for sharing of the cost and their sponsoring them for the same.

5.46 Employees' Operational Safety

Casualties among employees due to mishaps at work place are another area of concern. It is proposed to achieve a substantial reduction in such mishaps by adopting various safety measures. It is the responsibility of an employee not to willfully indulge in unsafe working. Staff have to be taught and constantly encouraged to work safely. It would be ensured that all protective systems are working and are in place, before staff undertakes any work.

  • Necessary protective systems will be adopted to prevent recurrence. Training in personal safety will also be given to new entrants during their initial training course and refresher course. Special training o­n personal safety will be given to staff deployed o­n ARTs and operating other breakdown equipment.
  • Work sites would be supervised at pre-defined appropriate levels. Personal protective equipment would be provided in sufficient quantity and they would include luminous jackets, protective gloves, crash helmets, safety belt, boots, safety jacket etc. depending upon job requirement of the staff.
5.47 Accountability for System Failure
Direct responsibility of persons responsible for an accident is determined by an accident inquiry committee, which also assesses failures at various levels of the management. The pros and cons of pinpointing of accountability has been deliberated by the Railway Safety Review Committee (RSRC) also. Accidents are the end-result of a series of failures. It recommends that the IR should introduce a system of accountability o­n critical issues relating to discipline, training, system failures, availability of critical safety related stores, etc.

In view of the above it has been decided that GMs/DRMs would be responsible for the continued neglect and grave/widespread failure of safety system and would endeavour to obviate the same by paying close attention to the following specific areas :

  • Periodical safety meetings to initiate action o­n emerging areas of concern.
  • Monitoring of vital safety inputs in areas like progress of critical safety works, availability of critical safety items, training, availability of infrastructure maintenance requirements, e.g., blocks, movement of material, etc.
  • Review of equipment failures and periodical analysis to improve reliability of assets.
  • Periodical inspections including surprise/night inspections and their monitoring to ensure that these are effective and meaningful, aimed at removing inadequacy in workmanship and training etc.
  • Instil importance of discipline at all levels and to take deterrent action against any act of indiscipline.
While assessing the accountability at managerial level, following aspects, would also be considered:
  1. The officers have had sufficiently long and reasonable tenure to assess the prevailing situation and initiate the desired corrective action.
  2. Wherever GMs/DRMs are held responsible, the accountability must also traverse down the line in the concerned departments, unless it can be shown that sufficient and adequate action had been taken by such departmental officials.
General Managers in Zones are ultimately responsible and accountable for achieving safety objectives laid down in their respective zonal railways. They will discharge this responsibility through the management line, and will ensure that their Railway has responded appropriately in this regard. They will be responsible and accountable for

ensuring that all reportable accidents are promptly reported. Equipment failures are correctly accounted for. Implementation of Safety Plan as per laid down schedule, monitoring of zonal railways' safety performance, safety auditing, completion of all accident inquiries within the stipulated period, completion of all accident related D&AR cases within fixed schedule, imposition of punishments in accident cases as per norms, monitoring of inspections of HODs, sorting out inter _ departmental safety issues and conducting annual inspection will be other safety responsibilities of GMs.

Railway Board Members will be individually and jointly responsible for laying down the safety norms, and also ultimately responsible for safe operation and maintenance of railways. The responsibility of the Board, as a collective body, will include determining safety goals and processing, approving and implementation of safety-related projects. It will also ensure that identified safety projects are neither starved of funds, nor will they have time and cost over run.




Source : रेल मंत्रालय (रेलवे बोर्ड) CMS Team Last Reviewed on: 05-02-2011  

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