Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Indian Railways - " To Stop Train Pull Chain" no more to exist

The Indian Railway Ministry decided to do away with "To stop train pull chain" notice from all the coaches. Officials have initiated the work in removing the chains from all trains.

The ubiquitous 'To stop train pull chain' sign in trains across the country could soon be phased out. The Indian Railway Ministry has reportedly decided to do away with the age-old system of chains for the use of emergency breaks in trains.

An official said railways had incurred a loss of Rs 3,000 crore because trains ran late with the indiscriminate chain-pulling for no good reason. The Union Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha has previously said that chain pulling was a big menace in UP and Bihar which resulted in frequent delays in trains.

At Izzatnagar in Bareilly, the work of removing the chains from trains has already begun. Officials say that as an alternative arrangement, the mobile phone number of the driver and assistant driver could be displayed in coaches, so passengers can call in case of an emergency.

Rajendra Singh, public relations officer of the North Eastern Railways, Izzatnagar division, said, "The alarm chains will no longer be installed in new coaches being manufactured at rail coach factories across the country. The Railway Board has already issued a notification requiring that the chains not be installed. Maintenance workshops have already started removing the alarm chains from existing coaches. At Izzatnagar railway workshop, technicians have already started removing the alarm chain from coaches coming in for maintenance."

There won't be anymore chains in the new coaches that are being manufactured as the official notification has been sent to the rail coach factories. The mobile numbers of the driver and the assistant driver will be displayed instead of the chains and further an employee will be present with a walkie talkie in every three coaches who can assist the passengers in case of emergency.

The decision will see the ministry removing the existing chains from the coaches, reports the Times of India.

Also, one employee carrying a walkie-talkie would be present for every three coaches in each train, reports the New Indian Express.

The emergency brake, popularly known as chain, in the compartments of the train, is meant to be used only during an emergency or danger.

However, people travelling in the express and non-stop trains which does not have a scheduled stop at the Non-stop station, pull the chain and bring train to a grinding halt to avail a stop.

The perpetrators resort to the nasty trick when the train is about to approach the station or is at a distance of a kilometre) The ‘chain pulling’ instances, off late have increased creating lot of troubles to the railway authorities and to the passengers.

Though it appears to be minor incident, it has far reaching consequence. The chain pulling, known as Inter-Chain Communication (ICC) incidents not only affect the timings of the host train but also adversely affects the trains travelling on the route and their schedule.

How it works ?

The chain system is interconnected to all the coaches of the train. Hence, when a chain is pulled in one coach, the brake system in the coaches jams to bring the train to an immediate halt. In this period, the train is not under the control of driver. One of the difficult task for guards or drivers is to identified the coach, where the chain has been pulled.

The train can only move if the chain is restored back to its original position. The entire process consumes 15 to 25 minutes resulting in delay in the arrival and departure schedule of the train.

Some of the trains travel as far as 1,500 km to 2,000 km. ICC incidents in these trains can affect a whole lot trains, the railway staff said.

The ICC incidents are common in the non-stop trains travelling on the Jolarapet-Bangalore route. As many as two to three incidents are reported every week on from the trains, RPF officials said.

Every day prior to the arrival of the non stop trains, the RPF staff along with technical staff guard up to one kilometer stretch from the Station to avoid ICC incidents. In spite of this, it is difficult to stop the incidents, they added.

The instances are high in trains like - Shatabdi (no 12028), Bhuvaneshwar Express (12846), Tata (12890), Darbanga (12578), Duranto (12246), Bhagalpur (12253), Kochivelu (16315), Shatabdi (12008), Dibrugarh (15901) and Hatiya (12835).


The recurrence is even higher in trains like Bhuvaneshwar, Darbanga, Bhagalpur, Dibrugarh and Hatiya, Railway officials added.

The passengers who try to flee after pulling the chain are apprehended and the person who actually pulled the chain is levied a fine of Rs 1,000. The instances have increased in the past six months and more than six people have been fined for the act, Protection Force official said.

Some of the main reason for the occurrence of ICC incidents is lack of proper train facility and stop facility. Further, it is compounded by the ignorance and lack of awareness among the people. It was also found that many people were not even aware of the railway rules, an official added.

Recently, 60 people were apprehended for the ICC incident on Bhagalpur-Yashwantpur train. During the interrogation, the person responsible for the incident was identified and fine was levied, sources in railway said.