Against the backdrop of three stationary trains being hit from behind amid foggy conditions in the last fortnight, the railways have decided not to allow passengers in the rear coaches during fog.
“Only guard and luggage will remain and no passengers will be allowed in SLR (rear) coaches during the foggy weather,” a senior ministry official said.
In case there are passengers in SLR coaches, they will be shifted to other coaches before entering into areas affected by fog, he said.
The decision comes close on the heels of three train accidents in the last fortnight where trains rammed stationary trains from behind damaging the SLR coaches and killing 15 people and injuring more than 60 people.
The decision is already being implemented by North Central Railway (NCR) and Northern Railway zones, worst fog-affected zones in the country.
In Kanpur, NCR, General Manager, Harish Chandra Joshi, said all those killed in the three accidents were travelling in the SLR coaches rammed by other incoming trains.
Besides guard, there are sitting arrangement for physically-challenged persons, women and general passengers in the SLR coach. Now the SLR coach will be locked after the guard occupies the coach, the official said. Asked about the women and physically-challenged passengers, he said they would be adjusted in some other compartments.
All the station masters in these two zone have been asked to ensure that nobody except the guard is allowed in the SLR coach. The practice will be discontinued after the foggy days are over. Railways have also revised safety guidelines, increasing the mandatory halt at red light to five, not two minutes.