Rlys asks drivers to slow down on crowded tracks

Rlys asks drivers to slow down on crowded tracks

This combo of two images shows the railway gate at Joda Phatak open partially even before the train had passed completely, in Amritsar. Police stand guard near the crossing where a train mowed down several people while they had gathered to attend Dussehra celebrations on Friday. PTI

To avert Amritsar-like tragedies, the Railways has instructed train drivers to slow down on spotting crowds on tracks or festive events near rail tracks. It also instructed train guards to take appropriate safety measures on such occasions.

"The Railways has taken the accident of a speeding train running over 59 people on October 19 very seriously and issued orders to ensure such accidents do not recur," said a letter dated October 23, from the senior divisional operational manager, Northern Railways, to all the divisions under the zone.

Fifty-nine people were mowed down by a speeding train as they were on the tracks watching a Dussehra celebration nearby. It is said railway guards barely 400 metres from the accident site failed to alert the nearest station about the potential danger.

"If you see a crowd of people around the railway tracks, some festive event, a fair or any public activity that is unusual, then control your speed. Inform the nearest station about it as well as provide the information in writing to the station master at the next scheduled stoppage," the letter instructed pilots, loco-pilots, guards, gatemen and keymen.

Blow whistle

It also said that during the festive season they should continuously blow the "whistle" while crossing level crossings and work sites. The letter also asked the Railway Protection Force to take immediate steps to alert local authorities if a huge crowd has gathered near tracks.