Advance warning system at unmanned level crossing

In a bid to prevent accidents at unmanned level crossings, Railways are planning to install an automatic alarm device.

New Delhi: In a bid to prevent accidents at unmanned level crossings, Railways are planning to install train actuated warning system (TAWS), an automatic alarm device, as a safety measure.

Based on German technology, the TAWS will be installed one km away from the unmanned level crossing. Once the train approaches the crossing, an alarm will be automatically sounded as a warning to people on the road.

"The TAWS will be installed at a few unmanned level crossings on a trial basis in the Delhi Division of Northern Railway," said a senior Railway Ministry official.

In Delhi Division, an unmanned level crossing at Nangloi is being identified for the trial of TAWS.

Unmanned level crossings are a cause of worry for the Railways as majority of rail accidents occur there.
About the functioning of the TAWS, the official said, "the sensor-based device is being designed to provide warning to road users in advance before the train reaches the level

The modern devices will cost about Rs 6 lakh each.

There are more than 35,000 level crossings across the country out of which about 17,000 are unmanned. There were around 62 accidents at unmanned level crossings in 2009-10.

Beside the sensor device, Railways are considering many other options to prevent accidents at the unmanned level crossing gates.

Steps are being undertaken to construct road overbridges
and road underbridges at the unmanned level crossings with the help of state governments and district authorities, he said.
There are also proposals to engage private security guards at unmanned level crossings. Railways regularly launch awareness campaigns to educate people about the ways to use the unmanned level crossings, the official said.