Train mishaps due to inhibited visibility from thick foggy conditions is a peril to passengers and crew members that could easily result in loss of life and damage of property. To meet this challenge, the Indian Railways has installed a fog safety device in trains to assist drivers tackle poor visibility due to thick fog during the season.
General Manager of Northern Railways, Ashutosh Gangal, outlined the procedure by which a fog condition is declared at a station.
“Several departments in railways make arrangements due to fog. Visibility test object placed at railway stations. station masters declare fog conditions if the object isn’t available. Fog conditions are withdrawn after the object becomes visible. Signal location booklet has been given to the crew,” he said.
The visibility test object is placed at a distance of 180 metres from the starter and if it is not visible to the station master or the station superintendent, fog conditions are declared. When such a condition is declared, a fog signal is registered and the time when the condition was declared is recorded.
Once the visibility test object comes within sight again, fog conditions are withdrawn.
Speaking about train crews, Gangal said that foggy conditions might cause the crew to miss signals due to impaired visibility. To counter this challenge, fog sensing devices have been placed in between the gaps of a signal and signal location booklets are also given to the crew so that they are aware of a signal’s location and if it is not visible, the drivers are to regulate the speed of the train until the see it and then proceed.
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