The consequential train accidents have continuously declined from 135 in 2014-15 to 107 in 2015-16 and further to 104 in 2016-17, claims NF Railway in a press release.
In the current year also, consequential train accidents decreased from 29 to 15 during 2017-18 (from 01/04/2017 to 30/06/2017) in comparison to corresponding period of the previous year which is an improvement of 48.3% over the last year, mentioned in the press release.
According to the press release the accidents Per Million Train Kilometres (APMTKMs), which is an internationally accepted yard stick of safety has declined from 0.23 in 2006-07 to 0.09 (approximately) in 2016-17.
In 2017-18, a Fund namely ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ (RRSK) has been created for financing critical safety related works. The Fund has been created with a corpus of Rs.1 lakh crore over a period of five years. In Budget Estimates of 2017-18, a provision of Rs.20,000 crore has been made under RRSK, which includes Rs.5000 crore from Budgetary Support, Rs.10,000 crore from Central Road Fund and Rs.5000 crore out of Railways’ internal resources.
In the Railway Budget 2016-17, Mission Zero Accident was one of the Missions announced, comprising of the two sub-missions:
Elimination of unmanned level crossings (UMLC) over broad gauge in the next 3-4 years.
TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System): To prevent collisions and signal passing at danger by the Loco Pilot through developing an indigenous technology and also to increase throughput by increasing average sectional speed on Indian Railways (IR).
Elimination of Unmanned Level Crossings: As on 01.04.2017, Indian Railways have 27181 Level Crossings, out of which 19480 are manned and 7701 are unmanned. Out of total 7701 unmanned level crossings, 4943 level crossings are on BG (Broad Gauge). It has been planned to eliminate unmanned level crossings (UMLCs) on Broad Gauge by 2020.
Track Renewal –The allocation for track renewal has been almost doubled from the last 5 years average of Rs.5548. 6 crores to Rs.9961 crores in the Budget Estimate of 2017-18.
Vehicular Ultrasonic Flaw Detection (USFD) System, Self Propelled Ultrasonic Rail Testing (SPURT Car): – Decision to use Vehicle bound USFD testing has been taken to ensure faster as well as more reliable testing as it would cover larger cross-sectional area of rail. Procurement of these 6 nos SPURT cars have been included in Rolling Stock Program 2017-2018 at total cost of Rs.186.24 crores.
Trial of Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection System (UBRDS) for detection of Rail/Weld fractures has been undertaken on Northern Railway and North Central Railway on 25 Km track length each. It has been decided to proliferate this system on Indian Railways based on outcome of trial.
Proliferation of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches for improving Safety: Indian Railways is embarking on a mission to provide upgraded safety features on its coaching stock. As a part of this, it has been decided that only LHB coaches would be manufactured from 2018-19. LHB coaches are of a superior design that reduces the chances of derailment and mitigates the possibility of grievous injury or death in case of accidents.
Refurbishment of ICF coaches: A policy decision has been taken to carry out the work of refurbishment and providing improved safety features in its existing ICF design coaches which have a residual life of more than 10 years. A total of about 40,000 coaches will be provided with these features in the next 5 years including production of new coaches.
Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS): Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS) has capability to control the speed of train in accordance with the sectional permitted speed and signal aspect ahead by automatic actuation of brakes, in case loco pilot fails to do so in time. Thus it mitigates safety risk of accidents/collisions due to loco pilot’s error of Signal Passing at Danger or over speeding. TPWS also reduces delays during foggy weather.
In the last 64 years, while freight loading has been increased by 1344% and passenger kms by 1642%, the route kms have grown by only 23%. This is causing congestion on tracks. More than 60% of the routes are being utilized more than 100%.