TRAIN OPERATIONS STRATEGY FOR ENSURING PUNCTUALITY AND SAFE RUNNING OF TRAINS AND TO MINIMIZE INCONVENIENCE DURING FOGGY WEATHER
The occurrence of fog in North India is a troublesome weather phenomenon with severe impact on our rail transport system. In recent years, the pattern and occurrence span of fog have also undergone vital changes.
Foggy season severely reduces the mobility and speed of all trains due to impaired visibility & cautious driving by the drivers. Many times, speed restrictions have to be put in place in the fog affected areas. Due to reduced mobility & speed, sometimes trains reach their destinations late and have to be rescheduled for the return journey or cancelled. Overall capacity of section i.e. no. of trains which can run in a section also gets reduced due to this phenomenon.
Problems faced due to intense fog:
·Rake shortage due to abnormal late running of trains.
·Crew (Loco pilots & guards) shortage resulting out of longer duration of working hours on a particular train due to slower mobility and path constraints.
·Complete disorientation of time table, train berthing plans, maintenance slots at washing line complexes etc. due to late arrival of trains.
·Catering difficulties due to out of schedule running of trains.
·Heavy crowding of waiting passengers on platforms at major terminals.
·Non-availability of track maintenance slots due to reduced capacity. Increased cost of operations due to overtime of crew and decreased asset utilization due to reduced speed and capacity constraints.
Action plan for train operations during the upcoming foggy season:
Safe Train Operations
ØSafety of train operation during fog is of primal importance. 2400 nos. Fog Safe Devices will remain functional on Northern Railway including 900 Fog Safety Devices in Delhi Division alone. All the Mail/Express & Passenger trains will be equipped with fog safety device during fog situation. Fog Safety Device is a GPS based equipment, which provides advance warning to Loco Pilot about approaching signal. These have been provided to all Loco Pilots for use during train operations.
ØDeployment of Fogmen for placing detonators (a device which generates sound when wheel passes over it) on tracks to alert the Loco Pilots about approaching signal. Assessment of requirement of Detonators for use on various sections and making it available to the sections timely.
ØAutomatic signaling system is converted to modified semi automatic signaling system.
ØRemoval of obstructions to improve visibility of signals, Focusing & removal of dust from signal glasses.
ØRevision of Crew links to cater to cancellation of some trains during Foggy weather. Extra crew is made available to avoid excess duty hours during late running of train in foggy weather.
ØSufficient Walkie-Talkie sets are provided to crew and to station staff.
ØSignal indication booklets are provided to assist the Loco Pilots and their counseling is done for working during fog and issuing consolidated instructions for working.
ØIntensive Night Foot Plate Inspection is done by Officers in foggy weather to check alertness of staff.
ØSpeed restriction is imposed during intense fog as per visibility.
ØClear visibility of whistle boards, Booms at gates to glow from distance, repainting of booms is required.Proper lighting at Level Crossing Gates is ensured for alerting the road users.
ØTrack patrolling by staff is intensified to detect cases of Rail fracture.
Following items/activities of Traction Distribution in electrified sections are carried out/in process during patrolling/maintenance in the pre winter drive:
ØRetro reflective tape sigma mark on OHE structures prior to signals to pre-warn the Pilots of approaching signals during foggy weather.
ØMeticulous cleaning of porcelain OHE insulators in polluted zones to avoid flash over during foggy weather.
ØCleaning of transmission line insulators and provision of anti fog insulators
ØReplacement of flashed/broken insulators.
ØEnsuring free movement of ATDs(pulleys) for ‘Y’ values.
ØRemoval of bird nests/kite threads fouling OHE.
ØTrimming of trees.
ØJoint inspection of roof insulators of locomotives.
ØMonitoring of passenger amenities on round the clock basis by Officers at the major terminals.
ØAdditional Enquiry/Reservation & Special Refund counters will be opened.
ØArrangements for round the clock catering at stations. Availability of meals & hot drinks at vending stalls will be ensured.
ØRegular announcements at stations of late running trains & expected arrival & departures, Real time updation on late running trains by email for electronic media for vide publicity, Enabling SMS Mobile enquiry service for late running of trains. All electronic train information display to be properly working.
ØRound the clock booking of safaiwalas at stations especially at waiting halls.
ØRound the clock manning of “May I help you Booths”.Manning of Entry/Exit by Ticket Checking Staff at strategic locations for assistance of passengers even in off peak hours.
ØMedical teams and ambulances on standby will be available at important stations Doctor to be nominated on call duty one each at New Delhi, Old Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Anand Vihar Terminal and Delhi Sarai Rohilla stations.
ØProper illumination at stations and circulating areas. Heating arrangements in waiting rooms at major stations. Electric staff to be available round the clock to attend the electrical appliances.
ØAdditional deployment of RPF personnel andVigil walks during night in the station areas.