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In Mumbai, alarms to alert local train motormen of red signals

After three cases in four weeks, of motormen on Central Railway trains overshooting red signals, railway authorities have decided to install an alarm that will go off in their cabins as the trains near a signal.

mumbai Updated: May 22, 2018 01:03 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai local,Motorman
(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

After three cases in four weeks, of motormen on Central Railway trains overshooting red signals, railway authorities have decided to install an alarm that will go off in their cabins as the trains near a signal.

The alarm will beep if the train is running too fast when it approaches a red signal, a railway official said.

Overshooting a signal is considered a serious offence — a red signal means another local train is on the same track ahead.

The slightest oversight could lead to a collision. Further, it affects the schedule of local train services, by up to 20 minutes, the official said.

Under the proposal, which the Central Railway approved on Monday, the alarm will work through the train’s Auxiliary Warning System, which detects higher speeds ahead of a red signal, and alerts the motorman to slow the train down to 10kmph, said the official, who did not want to be named.

Trains already have the Auxiliary Warning Systems (AWS) fitted in them to prevent collisions. In railway terminology, overshooting signals is called Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD).

“After an SPAD has taken place, the motorman is immediately taken off duty and an investigation is launched,”said the official. While the punishments are stringent, several cases of trains speeding past the signal have been reported, especially on the city’s central line. Last week on Friday, a Titwala-bound fast local train overshot a red signal ahead of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. On May 14, the motorman of Belapur train overshot the signal near the Kurla station, and on April 21, an incident was reported at the Vidyavihar railway station. “We have taken into account the series of incidents and plan to have an alarm-type system to alert motormen on red signals,” said another senior Central Railway official.

First Published: May 22, 2018 01:02 IST