Long back, Eastern Railway dispensed with Loco Pilot Line box with a canvas/air bag and reduced items carried along with him. Loco pilot carries the bag with him while boarding the locomotive or going to running room. The bold and innovative initiative of Eastern Railway could not be spread to other Railways. The advantages are
- Saving of Box boys engaged for loading and unloading of Loco Pilot and Guard Box
- Saving on space at Railway platform where line boxes are found lying haphazardly using space meant for passenger rest
- Saving space in locomotive cab which is already congested hindering free movement of loco pilot and help loco pilot.
- Avoiding Detention to train due to delay in loading or unloading of line box or loading of wrong box
Is the issue not enough to wake up the Railways administration to make use of technology to get rid of this old practice of British period? Indian Railways is so touchy about train working and safety involved that even an iota of safety issue derails the project.
There is news the other day in International Rail Journal “Tablet computers lighten the load on drivers”. The similar product for Indian Railways can easily be developed loaded with
- Accident Manual
- Working Time table
- Trouble shooting manual
- General and Subsidiary rule book
This will help the loco pilot and guard not only reducing load but also availability of information at simple touch. Now the technology is proven making the job Indian Railway easy to copy.