Tag Archives: Indian Railways

Delhi, India: INR one trillion over five years for safety

8 Feb

The end of a separate railways budget after 93 years appears to be working in favour of the railways. Central Government’s allocation for railways in 2017-2018 is INR 1.3 trillion, an increase of INR 1.4 billion over the comparable 2016-2017 budget.

Included within the allocated funds is a ring-fenced INR one trillion spread over five years for safety improvements and includes delivery of the government’s pledge to eliminate all unmanned level crossings by 2019.

Rajapalayam, India: Maintenance train runs through level crossing

3 Feb

Both occupants of a bus were taken to hospital with unspecified injuries when the vehicle on which they were travelling was hit by a train on a manned level crossing near Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu at about 05.15 on February 3rd, 2016.

With a train service contained between 06.00 and 20.00, the manned level crossings on the Virudhunagar-Shencottah section of the railway are unattended with them left as unmanned level crossings open to road traffic. However, it appears that arrangements had not been made to staff these level crossings to allow for the safe interaction with railway engineers’ non-revenue trains. These should, according to an Indian Railways’ source, operate at low-speed prepared to stop short of level crossings outside normal operating hours.

India: Solar energy at 2,000 level crossings across the country

15 Jul

indian Railways is to tender the first phase of a planned 1,000 megawatt solar power project. A key part of the programme is the provision of a total of 1.3 megawatt of solar panels at 2,000 level crossings. This is seen as the economic solution for delivering power in rural and remote areas without access to the electricity grid and a better alternative to diesel generators as used at some of the level crossings to benefit from the solar power programme.

Coimbatore, India: Teachers help pupils to cross the line

15 Jul

Teachers at the Irugur Government Higher Secondary School have taken on the added role of a level crossing attendant at a de facto unauthorised level crossing. Four teachers aim to beat the pupils to the railway when school finishes for the day so they can tell pupils when it is safe for them to cross the railway.

Why are teachers taking charge? Because the manned level crossing near the school was eliminated at the turn of the year without the promised replacement subway being provided. Indeed on this front, no completion date is available as work on-site has yet to begin. Meanwhile, Indian Railways’ maintains the students should trek 1.5km where there is a pedestrian bridge

While the teacher-supervised unauthorised, therefore trespass, route across the railway is considered more practicable than the alternative. This approach also has the support of the wider community until such time that the promised subway is provided at some unknown time in the future.

India: Level crossing elimination at a new high

11 Mar
Indian Railways is eliminating increasing numbers of level crossings as there is now support for this  driven off what is now a politically unacceptable loss of life on India’s railways. While cost effective grade-separation forms a significant component of the multi-year programme to reduce risk arising at level crossings, consolidation is a similarly acceptable approach from the railway perspective. However, consolidation is too often ineffective as many pedestrian users refuse to use a diversionary route that they consider an unacceptable additional distance to walk. This results in endemic trespass at some locations where there was until recently a level crossing.
In reply to a parliamentary question posed by MPs from several parties, Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha, released the following information that showed 1,740 level crossings eliminated in fiscal year 2014-2015 to January 31st, a further significant increase in the rate of progress shown in the chart below:


The figures for casualties shown in the chart below are distorted as it does not include pedestrians killed or injured in level crossing and other accidents is running at more than 20,000 per annum.

The objective remains to completely eliminate unmanned level crossing on India’s railway system, subject to the funding being released by the Indian Government. Going forward the strategy remains grade-separation where this can be justified, diversion via existing grade-separated routes across the railway or via manned level crossings or upgrading an unmanned level crossing to a manned status. Where a new grade-separated route is provided, this is often by means of a limited use underpass with larger vehicles diverted to another safe route across the railway,

Currently, Indian Railways has 18,785 manned and 11,563 unmanned level crossings of its 65,808 km length equating to a level crossing every 2.19 km.

Hyderabad, India: South Central Railway launches major initiative

29 Jul

Additionally joint covert operations involving the Railway Protection Force, Government Railway Police and civil authorities to catch road users not complying with the Motor Vehicles and Railways Acts. LXinfo considers it important that such operations should not immediately presume that a crossing has been misused, rather it should first validate that the configuration of the crossings monitored is causing road users to make errors and treat road users where this is the case differently from those that consciously decide to misuse the crossing. These operations will be mounted in parallel with seminars to promote safe behaviours at level crossings.


India: Petition calls for compensation and action against errant crossing keeper

16 Apr

India’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for a report from the Railway Board concerning the fatal accident at the Rameshwar manually controlled level crossing, Dhenkanal district, Odisha on April 2nd, 2014

The notice calling for the report from the Railway Board follows the filing of a petition by a lawyer who is also a human rights activist who has taken-up the case to secure adequate compensation for the bereaved and injured. The lawyer has indicated that the NHRC should require the Railway Board to compensate each family INR 1.0 million (GBP 9,680).

The petition filed with the NHRC also calls for action to be taken against the level crossing operator for his negligence. The level crossing operator is said to be negligent as he raised the barriers before a second train had passed over the level crossing as he was reportedly talking on his mobile phone, leading to a fatality and six persons seriously or critically injured.