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Mumbai: Central Railway plans to organise counselling session for motormen, loco pilots

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Mumbai: In order to teach motormen, Loco Pilots (LPs) and Assistant Loco Pilots (ALPs) on how to remain calm while driving local trains, the Central Railways (CR) has planned a counselling session, which is part of a special drive. This move comes after several instances of motormen jumping red signals stating that they were distracted or just weren’t paying attention.

A senior railway official said jumping of signals are referred to as ‘Signal Passing at Danger’ (SPAD) where a motorman or a loco pilot does not halt the train despite a red signal. While a preventive system stops the train in such cases, SPAD is considered a threat to safety.

Till now, nine accidents have been recorded by the CR that have disrupted train services in the year 2017-18 compared to 15 in the year 2016-17. More than five cases of SPAD have been witnessed in 2018 and around 10 cases in 2017 due to which suburban services have been disrupted.


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Most of the motormen who have skipped signals said either they were distracted or did not pay attention. For which they need to be counselled. “Thrice a month such seminars are been planned and guidance on adopting safety measures against SPAD and plying trains safely without causing derailment is provided to motormen,” added a senior official.

CR has around 800 motormen and 2,500 loco pilots and assistant loco pilots. In the suburban section, signals are placed at a distance of 120 meters along the tracks. Motormen are required to keep an eye on each signal and increase or reduce the speed of the trains accordingly. Last year, at least 45 such sessions had been conducted.

“As many as 1,660 services operate on the suburban section of CR. It is difficult to concentrate as missing a signal for even a second disturbs the schedule. Motormen are often distracted due to movement of trespassers on the tracks and people placing objects on tracks,” a senior motormen said.

In the last one year, CR as taken nearly 27 safety drives, 37 seminars and 16 safety audits have been conducted to counsel drivers. They have also conducted a mock drill, in coordination with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), to train the staff on first-aid in times of accidents.