Railways start work on fire safety system

Indian Railways seems to have learnt some lessons from recent fire accidents. Railways has initiated a detailed study to observe the spread of fire inside a running train to develop a smoke detection system that can be fitted inside sleeper coaches.

Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) has invited expression of interest from firms to develop a coach diagnostic information system that will detect fire or smoke and detect flaws to bearing, brake binding, pressure of air suspension, pressure in brake cylinder, coach dynamics and airconditioner system and alert nearest railway station or control centre, said RDSO director general V Ramachandran.

Railways hopes that the system, which will be implemented in phases, will help minimise fire accidents and improve safety of running trains. RDSO is edging closer to installing smoke and fire detection system inside airconditioned coaches, but the challenge is to have a similar system inside sleeper coaches which are prone to dust.

Conventional fire and smoke detection devices work only in closed environment and are not suitable for sleeper coaches because dust and high noise level may trigger false alarms. The fire on Tamil Nadu Express, which killed 32 passengers in a sleeper coach near Nellore in July, spread so quickly that passengers did not get time to escape. A diagnostic system would help prevent such accidents because it will send an alert through a GPS or GPRS system if any component of a coach is faulty.

“RDSO has developed a fire detection system to detect fire in a coach and send an alarm. A prototype has been fitted to understand the system. However, a reliable solution to detect fire in non-AC coaches still eludes us,” he said.

Ramachandran said that “as a first step, RDSO was working to evolve standards for dust intrusion in non-AC coaches and reduce noise levels.” Railways is also planning to improve coaches by using fire retardant materials from floor to ceiling, high performance engineering plastics in windows, panels, partitions and seating when coaches are taken up for mid-life rehabilitation at coach factories.

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOICH/2012/10/15&PageLabel=6&EntityId=Ar00605&ViewMode=HTML

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Published in: on October 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. dear sir. The research is very appreciable and need more work to do in this field. Anti fire and noise wall paper should be installed inside coaches. including fire alarm orgps system. thanks.kkshukla. jamshedpur


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