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Addressing Safety and Security issues relating to EMU Sub-urban Services

By on October 24, 2013

The services of Electrical Multiple Units (EMU) and Mainline Multiple Units (MEMU) plays a vital role in meeting transportation need of Urban and Suburban services of Indian Railways. There are  features of these services that make it different as compared to operation of other trains. This result in certain safety and security issues in Sub-urban network.

How EMU/MEMU services different?

  1. There are frequent stoppages with average journey time per passenger to be around 30 minutes. It is very difficult for any one to recognise any one at a later time if situation so called.
  2. The train operated by one member crew called Motorman
  3. Operation of Alarm chain pulling does not stop the train but gives an alarm to Motorman who looks back and stops the train only when convinced that there is an emergency and a train shall be stopped.
  4. Heavy crowds even to the extent of 16 passengers per mduring peak hours and passengers hanging outside the coach. Falling off a passenger sometimes goes unnoticed.
  5. There is overcrowding during peak hours but only a few passengers during non-peak hours and safety of women becomes a concern. There is hardly any woman passenger in Ladies compartment and unsafe in general coach with only a few passengers.
  6. Non-provision of Automatic Door Closure that the train starts only when women are satisfied that there are no unauthorised men in ladies coach.
  7. The services operates in section having high inhabitant density
  8. Train acceleration is very high and trespassers take the risk of crossing the track unable to perceive the time it will take to reach him.
  9. Traffic density on the section is very high and there is no much time to react shift from one track to another for the trespasser.
  10. The services generally work in Automatic territory and motorman encounters at least one or two aspects of signal at danger which he has to pass after stopping for one and two minutes during day and night time . Non observance of this aspect is a safety violation and there is no way to find this out and during accident inquiry it becomes a subject of dispute.
  11. OHE breakdown caused due to OHE   or panto defect is very difficult to establish and preventive actions are generally initiated on hearsay/surmise etc.

How to address issues?

  1. Installing a video camera in the driving cab recording motorman actions, front and rear end view continuously during the journey.
  2. Hidden surveillance camera in ladies coach with thick metal sheet protection and secured power supply wiring with battery standby operation. Central Railway started a good practice of  video graph of all the passenger boarding GS coaches at CST to track offenders involved in “Jahar Khurani” and robbing co-passenger. This has much impact in lowering crime against passenger.
  3. Ladies coach earmarked  next to driving and guard cab. There should be open grilled  are glassed peeping window between motorman cab and ladies compartment. This may be not be possible for Mumbai Sub-urban network where the passenger are addicted one system of coach location.
  4. Alarm chain from ladies Cab to give the different sound bell something like hooter sound.
  5. Provision of Ladies armed constable in Ladies coach during night time.
  6. Improved illumination of around 200 lux level

An effort has been made to record the front end view during the day and night  time to check the view clarity and to what extent it can be helpful in identifying the actual line conditions prevailing. It is almost equivalent to virtual foot plate inspection with clear visibility of OHE, Track, Signal, trespassing, Railway station, infringement on track etc.

Similarly provision of Hidden surveillance camera in Ladies coach will record all incidences during the journey. This is a proven technology and can easily be installed in Ladies coach. The through coupler provides  facility for continuous power supply and transfer of recorded data in the motorman cab. Illumination Lux level in ladies coach shall be around 200 so that recording is good and culprit face is easily traceable.

It may also be seen that during non-peak hours, any offender boarding the train will also be captured even if he escapes video-recording in ladies coach and can be apprehended.

Below are given the record video graph.

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