Railways mull indicators to prevent accidents due to boarding on running trains
The railways are experimenting with a visual indicator, placed just above the entrance of Mumbai locals, to warn passengers that a train is ready to move to ensure that they do not board running trains. The blue-light indicator is currently being provided to one EMU coach gate. Connected to the guard's starting circuit, it will glow when the train starts moving.
"The visual indicator clearly draws a boundary on the platform, which is the minimum clearance level for commuters to avoid accidents while the train is in motion. It emits a beam on the platform, warns passengers of the danger of being hit by external objects or incoming trains from the opposite direction," an official said on Monday.
The decision to start the project on a pilot basis was taken after Railway Minister Piyush Goyal expressed his concern over the number of fatalities caused due to falling off running trains. Unlike metro trains or air-conditioned EMUs, which have electronic doors, and due to the impracticality of providing doors to non-AC EMU coaches, the blue-light visual indicator is being tried at present, the official said. While the project has been started on a pilot basis, the visual indicator will be installed on more coaches and rakes of Mumbai suburban locals, he added.
Local trains are considered the lifeline of Mumbai. Around 75 lakh passengers travel on Mumbai locals on a daily basis and a staggering 264 crore passengers travelled in local trains in the 2016-17 financial year, according to reports. The over-150-year-old Mumbai local train network spans over 427.5 km. Two railway zones -- Central and Western Railways -- run the network. The blue-light visual indicator will come especially handy for the Mumbai local commuters as deaths due to falling off overcrowded trains are rampant in the city -- more than 406 people died after falling off trains, while 871 people were severely injured between January and July 2018.
(With inputs from agencies.)