Railways gear up for winter fog season

New Delhi [India]: The occurrence of fog, especially in North India, during the winter months is a common weather phenomenon. Due to this, the movement of trains is severely affected, resulting in the train reaching late to their destination.

It rakes imbalances due to the abnormal late running of trains. There is heavy crowding of passengers waiting on platforms at major terminals. To ease the effect on passengers, the railways has planned to send an SMS on registered mobile numbers about train running late status if the train is more than one hour late.

Cold weather patrolling of rail lines will be carried out timely to detect rail fractures, especially during the night hours.

GPS-based tracking systems developed as handheld trackers are to be provided to the line patrolling staff so that they can be in constant touch with the closest stations on either side to effectively report any untoward.

Provision of Fog Safety Device (FSD) has been placed in all plying locomotives. These FSDs are GPS-based, the drivers get audio-visual information of the approaching signal even if the visibility is very low.

Visibility Test Object (VTO) will be conducted by the station masters to assess the severity of the fog in and around the station area.

The Loco Pilots are to be given special training to tackle low visibility issues. They will also be sensitized to apply their wisdom and sense of judgment on controlling the speed of the train keeping in view the prevailing conditions on the track at the time.

However, it has been experienced that in recent years, the pattern and occurrence span of fog in the sub-continent has undergone changes with several pockets of Western and Eastern regions of the country now also witnessing the troublesome weather effect.

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