‘Hooter’ to alert loco drivers

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention and the same goes for innovation. And so, some imaginative engineers from Signalling and Telecom wing of the South Central Railway (SCR) have come up with a ‘Hooter’ to warn locomotive pilots (engine drivers) if they beat a ‘red signal’.

As most innovations that attract the spotlight go, this one too appears rather simple and tests conducted between Cherlapally and Moulali stations between June 10 and 15 turned out to be pretty successful. Going by the description, the device consists of two track circuits installed on the tracks two km before what’s called the ‘home signal’ before an approaching station.

As soon as the locomotive approaches the two-km mark before a station and there is a red signal ahead, a shrill warning erupts from the ‘Hooter’ located 800 metres away from the station, in the form of a noise that lasts a full one minute. There is a default setting though. The ‘Hooter’ makes a noise only if the train is travelling over a speed of 40 km per hour. If it is well within the speed limit, it means the pilot is anyway alert and there is no noise.

“This is just an imaginative, intelligent thought by our engineers that was taken forward. We will soon be sending across the details of the prototype to the Railway Board for further tests and approval. Once it is fine-tuned and standardised, it might well be used across the country,” says D.P. Pande, General Manager-SCR. He described it as an innovation that did not require any great technology but only the fundamentals. “The device just provides a warning to the loco pilot. It does not have the ability to shut off the locomotive on its own but only serves as an added safety mechanism in a worst-case scenario. After all, there can be no compromise on safety.


SCR to construct 25 limited height subways

Nearly one-third of the level crossings in the area covered by South Central Railway (SCR) are unmanned and efforts are on to ensure that the unmanned crossings are replaced with limited height subways (LHS) or introduce road diversions. This year, the SCR is planning to construct 25 LHS in its limits.

Every year, nearly 15 persons lose their lives in accidents while crossing these unmanned crossings and in almost all the cases, these accidents happen as those crossing the railway tracks do not observe the mandatory precautions, railway authorities say. According to a spokesman of the SCR, there are 2,122 level crossings in SCR area and of these, 705 are unmanned level crossings. The SCR’s safety action plan envisages converting all the unmanned level crossings by 2016 into either manned crossings or into LHS.

So far, 370 such level crossings were converted into LHSs or road diversions were planned, the spokesman disclosed.

“In fact, since last couple of years, the number of casualties came down. In 2012-13, four persons died and efforts are onto ensure zero accidents at these crossings,” says the spokesperson. Limited Height Subways, which are shorter versions of road under bridges, are being constructed every year at possible locations to ensure safe passage for road users. Since 2010-11, 60 such subways were constructed at different locations spending about Rs. 2 crore on each subway, he said.

Every year on an average, 15 persons lose their lives while crossing unmanned crossings. There are 2,122 level crossings in SCR area and of these, 705 are unmanned crossings.

Plans are on to convert all unmanned level crossings by 2016 into either manned crossings or into LHS and since 2010-11, 60 subways were constructed at different locations spending about Rs. 2 crore on each.


Published in: on May 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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South Central Railway opens Facebook page

Seeking to reach out to people through the social media space, the South Central Railway (SCR) has opened its official zonal Facebook page.

The public can access the Facebook account of SCR through a link provided on SCR’s official website, the railway said in a release today.

The Zonal Facebook page aims to convey information on a regular basis directly to its users on a host of issues related to railway services and functioning.

It also serves as a platform to connect with the public, an opinion channel where public/ rail users can share their views with SCR.

The availability of vacant berths and information on major events of SCR will also be posted on the page for instant communication to the users who join this Facebook page.

“However, it may be noted that the Facebook page of SCR is not meant to be a complaint redressal mechanism as SCR has got a structured setup of public grievance redressal system at various levels. Public can continue to use the existing complaint redressal mechanism,” the release added.


Private freight terminal at Timmapur likely

South Central Railway (SCR) will now introduce private freight terminals (PFTs), a move aimed at improving its participation in the overall transport chain. This rail division, which currently holds the fourth position in freight movement among 16 divisions in the country, hopes to improve its freight figures with this private partnership terminal model.

The SCR has recorded a 13.3 per cent growth in its freight earnings in the April-June period in 2011 compared to its earnings for the corresponding period last year. For the same period, SCR’s freight earnings stood at Rs 1,347 crores, out of its total revenue collection of Rs 1,916 crores. As a whole, the freight earnings constitute approximately 70 per cent of total SCR’s earnings.

Officials on Tuesday said that the first such private terminal at Timmapur is nearing completion and that it would work as a model to attract private investments to such terminals. A second such proposal is also in the pipeline at Nagolepally, officials said. “We have traditionally allowed private players to only handle their own traffic but here they would also be able to handle third party cargo and even collect user charges,” said an official. The revenue generated from PFTs would be shared between SCR and the private player.

“We are opening up huge business potential for the industry, and for railways, it would mean great growth prospects and penetration of freight services,” said Sunil K Agarwal, chief operations manager, South Central Railways, adding that the end customer would also be benefited with novel aspects like door delivery of goods, quality packaging and so on.


SCR to introduce ‘on board cleaning system’ in trains

In an effort to make train journey more comfortable and attractive, the South Central Railway (SCR) will introduce ‘on board cleaning system’ in all the running trains in the division, South Central Railway General Manager M S Jayanth said here today.

Talking to newspersons , he said the Railways had decided to introduce the on board cleaning system in the running trains which included cleaning of toilets and compartments.

”The cleaning systems will be outsourced,” he said and hoped that if the idea was conceptualised it would make train journey more pleasant and comfortable.

He said the SCR had also decided to modernise all retiring rooms at the Vijayawada Railway Station which was one of the biggest stations in the country. Tenders had been invited for the renovation of retiring rooms but the response from the contractors was very poor. Hence, it was decided to take up the responsibility of the renovation of the retiring rooms by Railway Department on its own. He said to address the complaints and problems of the Railway passengers, SCR had introduced an SMS complaint system. ”If any passenger sends his complaint through SMS to 8121281212 action will be taken immediately,” he added.


Published in: on July 3, 2010 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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