New Delhi: In the wake of the Sainthia rail
accident last week which left 66 people dead, Railways have
issued a series of advisories to its loco running staff to
raise their level of alertness, one of which involves ensuring
proper functioning of a vigilance device in engines.
Sources in Railway Ministry said that the loco pilots
have been asked to ensure that the `Vigilance Control device`
is not tampered with and is allowed to function properly.
The device is used to ensure alertness of engine crew.
The crew has to acknowledge to vigilance checks by pressing a
pedal switch or push button provided in the engine.
Absence of acknowledgement at specified intervals
activate vigilance control system to flash an indication and
an alarm which subsequently results in automatic applying of
The advisory comes after reports that a few drivers were
allegedly tampering with the device.
However, the number of VCDs installed in trains is far
to less in Indian Railways. As per statistics, such device is
fitted in only 1750 diesel locomotives and 550 electric
locomotives. Sources said the VCDs would be installed in all
They also said Railways were mulling introducing some
high-end technology to monitor the alertness of the driver and
react with alacrity in emergency situations.
Drivers, according to sources, have also been advised not
to consume outside food while on duty.
To give a boost to its security aspects, Railways have
decided to install `train protection warning system` on some
busy routes in four zones, the Tundla-Kanpur route being one
of them. The other routes where this system would be
introduced are between Sealdah/Howrah-Khanna, Howrah-Kharagpur
The system would ensure automatic applying of emergency
brakes should a driver misreads or overshots a signal.
After the July 19 mishap in which Sealdah-bound
Uttarbanga Express rammed into Vananchal Express from behind
at Sainthia station in West Bengal, Railway officials had said
the driver neither applied emergency brakes nor made any
attempt to stop the train to avert the collision.