Feb 3, 2013

Railways switch off motormen’s mobiles

As an increasing number of train drivers, including motormen, keep themselves busy on the phone while the train is in motion, thereby putting the lives of hundreds of passengers at risk, the Indian Railways have issued a circular making it mandatory for them to keep their phones switched off. A similar ban was imposed by federal regulators in the US following two train collisions in 2008 which were a result of the train drivers using their mobiles.

“Imagine a speeding, crowded train and its driver engrossed in talking on the mobile or busy texting. The risk factors are immense. That is the reason the railways have issued detailed guidelines on the use of mobile phones,” said a senior railway official.

In Mumbai, trains are the city’s lifeline with over seven million people using it daily.

“Instances of accidents have come to light because of train drivers using mobiles during runs. Therefore, a set of revised guidelines are now being issued on mobiles,” says the circular signed by Rakesh Ranjan, director (telecom) at the ministry of railways.

They will have to declare their personal and official mobile numbers and their service operator. The railways are initiating steps to e-monitor and track the calls train drivers make and receive during the train run, the order states.

“While the train run is on, motormen will have to keep their mobiles switched off,” the official said. The official phone can be used only in case of emergencies such as an accident or failure. The reason for using it must be recorded after the journey.

The drivers and guards should use the walkie-talkie/VHF sets provided to them while communicating with each other and the station masters, the order stated.

Train drivers told DNA the intention of the order is good, but the practicalities of using a mobile phone must also be considered.

In the US, there is ban on the use of cellphones, pagers and other electronic devices by rail transit personnel. There are also plans to install cameras in the train operator cab.

Source -

37th Foundation Day of National Rail Museum Celebrated

Chairman, Railway Board, Inaugurates Patiala Statew Mono Rail & Lanunches Audio Guide at the Museum 
Winners of All India Drawing & Painting/Essay Competition Organised by RWWCO Felicitated 

National Rail Museum of Ministry of Railways, celebrated its 37th Museum Foundation Day here today. Shri Vinay Mittal, Chairman, Railway Board, was the Chief Guest at the celebrations. On this occasion, Shri Vinay Mittal inaugurated and dedicated to the public, Patiala State Mono Rail TRAMWAYS (PSMT) which has now been displayed at the museum after restoration by the Railways’ engineers and technicians. Shri Mittal also launched the unique Audio Guide System for the benefit of enthusiastic visitors coming to the National Rail Museum. On the occasion, Shri Mittal also felicitated the winners of the All India Drawing & Painting/Essay Competition which was earlier organised for children of Railway employees by the Railway Women’s Welfare Central Organisation (RWWCO). RWWCO is the apex body of the chain of women’s welfare organisations spread over all Indian Railways and engaged in the task of welfare of railwaymen and their families through various need-based socio-welfare activities. Smt. Poonam Mittal, President, RWWCO was specially present on the occasion. A cultural progamme presented by railway employees was also organised on the occasion. 

PSMT was a unique rail guided, partially road-borne railways systems running in Patiala in the state of Punjab from 1907 to 1927. It is the only operational locomotive – hauled Railway system built using the Ewing system in the world i.e. monorails using a balancing wheel for balancing the train. Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh ji of Patiala got this unique railway system constructed under supervision of Col Bowles to facilitate movement of people and goods in his state. Four locomotives for PSMT were built and delivered by Orenstein & Koppel of Germany (O&K) in 1909 at a cost of $ then 500 to $ 600 (about Rs. 7,000/-) each. National Rail Museum, New Delhi took the initiative to get the PSMT loco and saloon revived and restored. With the help of Amritsar workshop, Rewari Steam Shed staff and NRM staff the loco has been brought back into operational condition. 

Audio Guide at the museum is a system in which the historical significance of these exhibits has been recorded in a story telling formal. This Audio Guide system will overtake the role of a Human Guide. It will enhance the overall experience of visiting and learning about collections of the museum. This will also ease the overcrowding of visitors at a particular place of exhibits as the peak Footfall per day registered is as high as 5500 and average Footfall is 1700-1800 visitors. The system has been designed in both English & Hindi languages and also for the children separately to suit the interest of public of all generations. 
Source - PIB





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