Indian Railways launches counselling for train managers to ensure safety 

Also, Madurai Division of the Southern Railway has banned the use of smart watches by Loco Running Staff while on duty.

June 09, 2023 03:12 pm | Updated 03:46 pm IST - CHENNAI

Representational image only.

Representational image only. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

In a bid to ensure smooth and safe movement of trains, the Indian Railways has introduced a system of periodic counselling for Train Managers and Section Controllers on their duties and responsibilities.

The move comes days after the devastating train accident involving the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express and a goods train at Bahanaga Bazar railway station in Balasore Division of South Eastern Railway on June 2, 2023, which left 288 passengers dead and more than 900 injured. 

While the exercise of providing counselling to Station Masters and Pointsmen is already in place in all zones, the Railway Board on June 8 wrote to General Managers of all Zonal Railways to treat the matter as “most urgent” and launch a regular programme for train running staff on “specific safety and movement issues”.

“As part of the programme, the safety advisory said a senior Train Manager and Section Controller with adequate knowledge of best practices in safe train operations be nominated as the resource person to train other colleagues for enhancing alertness and proper compliance to other responsibilities during normal and abnormal situations,” a railway officer said.

Smart watches banned 

In a related development, the Madurai Division of the Southern Railway has banned the use of smart watches by Loco Running Staff while on duty. In a circular, the Senior Divisional Electrical Engineer Ravikumaran Nair said that “the usage of smart watch by Loco Running Staff is banned on footplate with immediate effect.”

In a recent check, he said a Loco Pilot on duty was frequently looking at his smart watch as it often turned on with alerts. This was observed when the train was being operated at a speed of 110 kmph. 

“On further study of the features available on smart watches, it is understood that a smart watch can replicate the calls coming from the mobile phones connected through bluetooth. It is obvious that a Running Staff’s attention can be diverted by a smart watch if the same is connected from another mobile phone, which is hidden from him/her. The above situation is more dangerous,” the officer said.

The Ministry of Railways has already banned the use of mobile phones by Locopilots while on duty. Frequent checks are conducted to ensure that their mobile phones are in “switched off” mode. “Even keeping the mobile phone in mute is not allowed while on duty as it will divert the attention of the Loco Running Staff since their mind will be enthusiastic to check for any missed call…,” he said.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.