If the ambitious plans of Northern Railways are realised, there might not be any train cancellations or delays due to fog next winter.
The Northern Railways, which largely rely on primitive methods of fighting fog such as bursting crackers to signal train drivers, is going to tie up with the Met department to minimise the impact of fog on the running of trains.
“The Met department wants to develop a fog fighting instrument and visibility meter for Railways and had asked for fog patterns on railway tracks on most affected routes,” said a senior railway officer, requesting anonymity.
Every year, due to dense fog in northern , there is an average delay of 10-12 hours in the arrival and departure timing of trains and around 100 trains have to be cancelled to decongest the tracks to avoid collisions due to low visibility.
“The visibility meter at signals will make operations automated and the driver will know about the visibility at every section. It will minimise the impact of fog on train services as the time of formation and duration of fog would be known to the Railways. The instrument would be similar to the runway visibility range (RVR instrument used at the airport,” a senior met officer said.
Delhi-Allahabad route, Delhi-Kanpur and Delhi-Jalandhar are most affected routes in northern due to dense fog.
“One plan is to disburse the fog on railway tracks by spraying a special chemical on the most affected tracks so the fog can be made milder for 12-14 hours. There are several other options too and we plan to start a trial run soon to check the feasibility. We are in advanced talks with the Met department,” the railway officer added.