Central railway wants guards to alert motormen about Mumbai stations on fast corridor

While the guards’ unions are against it, CR feels the move is necessary to avoid signal passing at danger (SPAD) or overshooting
Published on May 18, 2018 12:47 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Keeping the safety of passengers in mind, the central railway (CR) administration will now get guards of suburban local trains to alert motormen about an approaching station on the fast corridor.

While the guards’ unions are against it, CR feels the move is necessary to avoid signal passing at danger (SPAD) or overshooting, especially at newly introduced or irregular halts on the fast corridor. Two incidents of SPAD, where a motorman stops a train just in the nick of time, were reported last month. The application of emergency brakes in case of overshooting puts the life of passengers and those crossing the tracks at risk.

While motormen drive the train, guards are seated in the last coach. “We want the guards to alert the motormen around 500m ahead of the station with the ring of a bell,” said a senior railway official, adding they want to implement it only on the fast corridor.

Between CSMT and Kalyan, CR has six major stations on the fast corridor namely Byculla, Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Thane, and Dombivli. Besides these stations, the railway administration has given one or two extra stops to several fast trains at Mulund, Bhandup, Vikhroli, and Diva. “There is a possibility that the motorman may forget to stop at these halts,” said the official.

Railway officers feel there is no need to implement the decision on the slow corridor, as the stations are at a shorter distance and motormen are aware that they have to stop at every station. According to railway officials, the motormen are under immense pressure as they have to keep a constant eye on signals and vigil on tracks, while the guard’s job is relatively easier.

The practice is being followed on the WR for both slow and fast corridors for the past several years.

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    Kailash works with the political team and has been covering transport beat for over a decade. He is interested in travel and music.

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