Railways have provided an Alarm Chain Pulling (ACP) option in Suburban and Mail / Express trains for use during emergency purposes only.
How does the ACP system works:
When the Alarm Chain of a suburban train is pulled, it causes a small lever to be displaced in the respective coach along with sending an alert bell to the Motorman and Guard of the train. The train has to be stopped and the displaced lever has to be put right for the train to move. When the Alarm Chain of a mail /express train is pulled, it activates the Passenger Alarm Signal Device(PASD) causing release of air pressure in the respective coach which automatically stops the train. This has to be attended to and put right by the Guard or TTE or any such railway staff nominated for the purpose for the train to move.
Hence the alarm chain when pulled without sufficient reason or emergency not only affects the running of that particular train but also has a cascading effect on the trains that run behind it. In a suburban system like Mumbai Division, this results in late running of Mail / Express and suburban trains affecting its punctuality. Further the misuse of ACP for the convenience of one or few passengers ends up causing inconvenience to all other passengers.
Central Railway’s efforts to curb misuse of ACP system:
Of late it is seen that passengers are resorting to ACP for frivolous reasons like arriving late, alighting/boarding at intermediate stations etc. Central Railway is keeping a close tab on such unreasonable ACP incidents. In most of the cases the offender is immediately nabbed due to the alertness of RPF, Ticket Checking Personnel and complaints / co-operation of other railway staff and passengers, but sometimes cases are registered against unknown persons also.
A total of 332 cases of Alarm Chain Pulling have been reported in the Mumbai division for the period 1.4.2022 to 30.4.2022. Out of these 53 cases have been registered as justified due to valid reasons, whereas 279 cases have been registered as unreasonable. A total of 188 offenders have been prosecuted under section 141 of the Indian Railway Act for pulling of alarm chains without sufficient or valid reason and an amount of Rs.94,000/- have been realized as penalty.
In order to control crowd and curb misuse of ACP cases on trains at platform in summer season, it is proposed the price of platform tickets to be hiked as a temporary measure from Rs.10/- to Rs. 50/- at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Dadar, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Thane, Kalyan and Panvel stations for 15 days with effect from 9/5/2022 to 23/5/2022.
Central Railway’s appeal to passengers:
Railways appeal to the passengers not to resort to ACP for unnecessary / frivolous reasons thereby inconveniencing the rest of travellers. Resorting to ACP in unnecessary circumstances is a punishable offence under section 141 of the Railways Act.
Railways also appeal to passengers to reach the terminus / station at least 30 minutes before the departure of their respective trains. Passengers may also utilize the services of battery operated cars, wheelchairs available at various stations for movement of Senior citizens, differently abled persons etc. to reach the desired coach so that boarding of trains can be done smoothly and in time, thus avoiding use of Alarm Chain pulling for unnecessary reasons.