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During winter season especially in North India fog is a common weather phenomenon. Limited visibility crippling transport sector including Railways have been a major cause of concern in past.  The movement of freight and coaching trains is severely affected due to poor visibility and the safety protocols that are put in place that includes speed restriction in the fog affected areas. As a result, the trains reach their destinations late and have to be often rescheduled for the return journey or cancelled due to abnormal late running.

Problems faced by the Railways due to intense fog:

1- Rake imbalances due to abnormal late running of trains.

2- Crew shortage resulting out of longer duration of working hours due to slower mobility and path constraints.

3- Complete disorientation of time table, maintenance slots at washing line complexes etc. due to late arrival of trains.

4- Catering difficulties due to out of schedule running of trains.

5- Heavy crowding of waiting passengers o­n platforms at major terminals.

6-Non availability of maintenance blocks due to reduced capacity.

7-Increased cost of operations due to overtime of crew and decreased asset utilization due to reduced speed and capacity constraints.

However this winter North Central Railway has taken many steps which include established past practices as well as new initiatives to minimise adverse affect of fog o­n Train operations to take our esteemed customers to their destination o­n time. North Central Railway has put in place a comprehensive plan to handle ensuing foggy season. Key initiatives, protocols put in place includes: 


A -Safety

1- Fog-safe device o­n all locomotive to warn crew o­n approaching signal location based o­n GPS even if visibility is very poor so as chances of overlooking signal is minimised.  Presently 850 devices in Prayagraj Division, 558 devices in Jhansi Division and 376 devices in Agra division have been provided.

2- In foggy condition speed of trains shall be regulated as per laid down norms.   

3- Intensive Cold weather patrolling of rail lines to identify any possible defect especially during the night hours. Patrolman have been equipped with all personal protective equipments and light weight tools for efficient inspection of track with ease.  

4- GPS based tracking systems provided to all line patrolling staff so as effectiveness and beat of patrolling can be double checked. ………..GPS trackers shall be put in use covering all three divisions.

5- Converting automatic signaling territory in modified automatic territory during fog to limit number of trains between two stations.   

6- All caution boards, whistling boards etc are provided with retro reflective coating for improved visibility.  Lime marking o­n track for approaching signal is also done at regular interval for ease of guidance to crew in case of impaired visibility during fog.  

7- Loco/Crew/Rake links are rationalized and reviewed during period of fog. This is to ensure adequate rest to the Crew. Also cleaning and maintenance work can be performed o­n the rolling stock so that the rakes are available o­n time for the next trip to minimize delays and maintain punctuality.

8- Use of Visibility Test Object (VTO) by the station masters to assess the severity of the fog in and around the station area.

9- The Loco Pilots are given special training to tackle low visibility issues. They are sensitized to apply their wisdom and sense of judgment for controlling the speed of the train keeping in view the prevailing conditions o­n the track at that time through intensive training sessions.  

10- Besides crew of NCR other crew from adjoining Railways like NER , NR , NWR , WCR, ECR etc are given fog related training and assurance is taken o­n proper training including evaluation  before allowing them o­n NCR territory during winters.  

11- No crew or guard is allowed to operate trains without passing laid down medical examination popularly called as PME. 

12- Locomotives and coaches and other rolling stocks are given special attention during winter drive like air tight, Heater in cab room, proper retro reflective X mark o­n SLR , flashing lights etc.  

 B -Passenger Convenience

1- Informing Passengers through SMS o­n registered mobile number about train runninglate status if the train is more than o­ne hour late.

2- Operating Catering Stalls o­n the platforms beyond the normal sale hours .

3- Deployment of additional Railway Protection Force personnel o­n the stations for crowd management and tackling any unforeseen security issues.

4- Use of CCTV to monitor crowd situation at stations during fog to help in deciding train halt, deployment of RPF etc. 

5- Comprehensive passenger information system o­n all stations including manual announcements. 

6- Revamped waiting rooms, lounges, retiring rooms, restrooms o­n all stations. 


C- Request to Passengers/Public

1- Please enquire about train running status during fog through passenger enquiry no 139 or through o­nline website-

2- Please don’t trespass the railway track. Use FOB /Subway.  

3- Please don’t Cross the closed barrier of Manned Level Crossing from sides or under the barrier.  

With above efforts and help for our valued customers NCR is all set to make journey during this winter a pleasant experience for passengers.


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