In a bid to make the suburban journey safer, and avoid accidents such as the one at Andheri in June when two trains collided as they ended up on the same track, the Western Railway (WR) has decided to create another checkpoint between the platform and the start signal. There is a distance of up to 13 metres between the platform and the starting signal.
An additional safety system or track circuit will be installed in this gap to ensure that if any train stops immediately after crossing the platform, it can’t change the track ahead. This would ensure that no two trains will align on the same track, which is what happened during the Andheri accident where the gap between the starting point at the platform and start signal was a major reason for the accident that injured 10 people.
The WR railway has already installed the track circuit on five of its stations on an experimental basis. It will be replicated across stations after analysing its functioning. Kumar explained that a 7 to 13 meter gap is maintained between the platform and starting signals because of the long hood of diesel engines.