Golden Rock Loco Shed adjuged the best

The Golden Rock locomotive shed, home for many variants of diesel locomotives here has been adjudged the best among the four loco sheds in the Southern Railway zone in the 2012-13 fiscal.

The 41-year-old Tiruchi shed, the largest and the lone shed in the zone to home high horsepower EMD locomotives, bagged the ‘Performance Efficiency Shield’ for the fifth time. The shield was presented to the Tiruchi shed recently, after taking into account various parameters including less number of loco failures homed by the shed, less consumption of lubricants, less cycle time for heavy schedules and for carrying out crew-friendly modifications in the diesel engines.

The other diesel loco sheds in the zone are located at Erode, Ernakulam and Tondiarpet in Chennai. The shield was constituted in 2004-05, and the Tiruchi shed has bagged it five times, say railway officials.

Among the four sheds, Golden Rock accounts for maximum holding of diesel locomotives with the figure reaching 163 including over 90 ‘Alco’ locos and several ‘EMD’ locos which are capable of reaching a maximum speed of 120 kilometres per hour.

The Tiruchi shed has so far received 42 ‘EMD’ locos equipped with micro processors are longer and powerful than the ‘Alco’ diesel locos. The 4,500 horsepower EMD locos have better fuel efficiency than the conventional diesel engines and have higher fuel and lubricant oil capacity. Officials said eight more EMD locos were expected which would increase the tally to 50.

Facilities available

Additional infrastructure facilities have been created in the loco shed to home the EMD locos. Two new bays with elevated platforms have been constructed inside the sprawling shed to exclusively accommodate EMD locos. The bays can accommodate five such locos at a time, say officials. The Tiruchi shed is the only one in Southern Railway to have a Diesel Traction Training Centre (DTTC) within its premises to impart theoretical and field level training for newly recruited Assistant Loco Pilots, maintenance engineers and staff. Refresher courses are organised by the DTTC for Loco Pilots and Assistant Loco Pilots already in service periodically, say officials.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/golden-rock-loco-shed-named-the-best/article4951109.ece

To ensure train drivers get sleep, Rlys ropes in families

To ensure safety, the Railways wants its drivers to get a good night’s sleep. And to provide that, it is reaching out to their families, telling them to have in place a conducive atmosphere that allows it.

Zonal railways have been holding interactive sessions with families of loco pilots and assistant loco pilots, telling them nothing at home should come in the way of the drivers’ fill of rest and uninterrupted sleep when they arrive after duty, including household chores.

The move follows increasing incidents of accidents due to train drivers jumping signals. In May last year, 24 people were killed when the driver of Hampi Express had overshot a signal and rammed into the rear of a stationary goods train in Andhra Pradesh.

A set of guidelines reiterated by the Railway Ministry recently also stressed on measures to identify drivers who “indulge in activities other than rest” and to counsel them.

“The sessions are very helpful because when a person is at his home station after long hours of duty, it is natural that he gets caught up in household responsibilities and chores. We have realised that it often prevents them from getting a fair share of sleep before the next assignment,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.

‘Signal Passing At Danger’ — the term used for accidents or near-accidents due to jumping of signals — is often attributed to drivers not being alert enough to spot “stop” signals especially at night.

Recently, K K Srivastava, Member (Traffic), Railway Board, had also issued a letter saying that proper rest for drivers was of paramount importance as cases of signal jumps are increasing due to “non-observance of proper rules”.

“It has been observed that drivers who have been inducted departmentally and drivers who are performing duty after availing headquarters rest are more prone to ‘SPAD’,” Srivastava wrote.

Engine drivers have been complaining for years about long and continuous duty hours depriving them of rest. Their duty hours as a routine stretch beyond 15 hours.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/to-ensure-train-drivers-get-sleep-rlys-ropes-in-families/1079116/0