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The Commission urges Railway Board to apprise it of the progress made in this regard.

Remarks on some Important Issues

(i)  Several important issues have been raised by the Commission from time to time. In the Annual Report of 2002-2003, 10 issues were detailed. The present position, in brief, of pending issues required to be highlighted this year is given in paras 5.1 to 5.4.
(ii)  Four new issues have been included in this years Report as per Paras-5.5 to 5.8.

Checklist to be sent to the Commissioner of Railway Safety Prior to the Introduction of a new passenger carrying train

(Item issued initially in the Annual Report of 2002-03)

Views of the Commission:

A number of new passenger carrying trains are regularly being introduced by the Railways. It is, however, observed that there has not been a corresponding increase in the manpower and the facilities required for maintenance and operation of these trains in the Zonal Railways. This would lead not only to poor maintenance and consequent failure of the rolling stock but also result in unsafe running conditions. It is with this background that the Commission had suggested and Railway Board too had agreed in the meeting held between the Chairman, Railway Board and the Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation on 28.11.2001 that, prior to the introduction of a new train, a checklist required to be complied with, will be sent to the Commissioner of Railway Safety by the Zonal Railway. Having failed to receive any response on the subject, CCRS wrote D.O. letter No.Q.21011/01/01-RS, dated 24.02.2003 to the Chairman, Railway Board requesting for preparation of the above checklist in consultation with all the concerned departments at the earliest and for sending a copy of the same to the Commission of Railway Safety. The issue was thereafter raised in the annual report of 2002-03.
 
Railway Board in their reply in the Annual Report stated that certification of available maintenance infrastructure at either end is given by the two SAG (Joint Secretary level) officers incharge of operation and maintenance after consulting all concerned agencies. For this purpose a checklist has been circulated to all Railways. Further, the Railway Board being the final safety controlling authority the concurrence of CRS for introduction of every new train does not fall in the legal duties of CRS as enumerated in Railway Act 1989.
 
While it is appreciated that Railway Board is the final safety controlling authority and that all concerned agencies are consulted before introduction of any new train, the reason for not making the copy of the checklist, if any, prepared by the Railway Board, available to the Commission, is not understood. The Commissioners have certain duties to oversee that adequate infrastructure and its maintenance facilities are available for safe operation of trains. During accident enquiries by the Commissioners it has come to notice that in many cases adequate infrastructure, manpower and maintenance facilities are not being ensured before introduction of a new train.
 
Copy of the checklist was requested to be supplied to the Commission so that the Commissioners may also conduct certain checks during their inspections. Railway Board are once again requested to supply a copy of the checklist, stated to have been issued to the Railways. The subject matter was also discussed in the meeting of Commission with the Railway Board held on 17.11.2003 wherein such a request was again made. However, the Railway Board are yet to acceed to Commissions request.

Comments of the Ministry of Railways:

A checklist specified for introduction of new trains had been circulated amongst the Zonal Railways vide this office letter No.2001/Chg.-II/30/3 dated 15/23.04.2002. Another checklist issued by Mechanical Directorate to the Railways vide Railway Boards letter No.95/M/141/34 Pt. Dated 30.12.2002

Further views of the Commission:

While the checklists now supplied cover certain aspects of train operation and maintenance, these are not comprehensive and do not cover the effect of the introduction of new trains on other infrastructure such as the track, the OHE and the signaling gears, etc. The effect of the new train on the maintenance corridor is not being examined in the present system, which is very vital for safe operation of the trains.

5.2  PROVISION OF DOORS IN EMUs:

(Item issued initially in the Annual Report of 2001-2002 and again in 2002-03)

Views of the Commission :

On the Indian Railways, the doors of EMUs running in the suburban section of metropolitan cities are not kept closed when the train is in motion. This is contrary to the system prevalent in the metropolitan cities abroad where it is always ensured that the doors of the Suburban trains are closed before a train leaves a station and remain closed when the train is in motion. They are opened only when the train comes to a halt.
 
In the suburban EMU trains in India there is very heavy overcrowding during peak hours, resulting in passengers travelling with their bodies projecting outside the doorways. Such travels by the commuters has proved to be dangerous. Many accidents to the commuters of Suburban sections have already happened on this account. Casualties in such accidents are normally large as (i) each train carries large number of passengers standing at the doorways and (ii) by the time corrective action is taken for removing the cause of the accident, a large number of trains would have passed the section.
 
Thus, a very large number of commuters get exposed to avoidable risk to their life and limbs because it is not ensured that the doors of EMUs are closed when the train is in motion. Passengers get hit and knocked down by structures located close to railway track. Some times because of overcrowding, commuters lose their grip on the handrail or overhead rail and consequently fall down from the coaches. Antisocial elements stand beside the running train and injure passengers and knock down valuables including briefcases and handbags from the grip of passengers. Instances of stone, acid and rubbish throwing by antisocial elements on the commuters, have led to grievous injuries to commuters. The Commission, therefore, requested the Railway Administration to take suitable measures to ensure that EMUs run in the Suburban section of Indian Railways with doors closed when the train is in motion.
 
The Railway Board, however, did not accept the suggestion of the Commission on the grounds that the use of automated closing doors in suburban section EMUs is not practicable under the prevailing conditions of rush.
 
The Commission did not find the stand of the Ministry of Railways acceptable. It is a standard practice in most parts of the world to ensure that the doors of such trains remain closed and locked when the train is in motion. With the latest available technology of EMU design, it should be feasible to ensure EMUs run with doors closed. In the annual report 2002-03 the Commission again urged the Railway Board to explore the possibility for ensuring the above by adopting the following measures: -
 
(i)  To make a start, new EMU rakes being introduced on the Suburban lines must have the provision that the doors remain closed when the train is in motion.
 
(ii)  Subsequently, the existing rakes can be retrofitted or replaced after condemnation with new rakes so as to have the above provision.
 
Railway Board in their reply in Annual Report 2002-03 put forth the following reasons for not providing the doors in EMU:
EMUs in general are operating in suburban section of Metropolitan cities under SDCL condition i.e. 400-500 passengers per coach. If the doors are closed in crowded while the train is in motion, the ventilation and fresh air intake would be greatly affected and under these circumstances, closing/opening of the doors would be unsafe and could also result in injury to the passengers.
 
(i)  The design of EMUs plying over Indian Railways in suburban section of Metropolitan cities is totally different as compared to EMUs operating abroad on account of loading factor and other environmental conditions.
 
(ii)  The design of EMUs plying over Indian Railways in suburban section of Metropolitan cities is totally different as compared to EMUs operating abroad on account of loading factor and other environmental conditions.
 
(iii)   The acceleration requirement of the EMUs running in abroad is normally of the order of 0.8-1.0 m/Sec.2 or even higher as against much lower specified acceleration of 0.54 m/Sec.2 in India. The use of automatic doors, interlocked with traction systems is a safety requirement for acceleration beyond 0.7 m/Sec.2 as recommended by DE-Consult in their report for MUTP.
 
The Commission is not satisfied with the above reasons. The fact that such trains are running in super dense crowd conditions, cannot be the justification for unsafe carriage of passengers. Statistics shows that a large number of commuters die and get injured due to falling/knocking over/hitting with the fixed structure in suburban sections. The suburban trains with closed doors have been successfully introduced on Delhi Metro. The Commission reiterates that operation of EMUs with doors open is a safety hazard. Such suburban stock should be gradually phased out. EMUs with automatic door opening/closing can atleast be introduced in the new suburban sections like the MMTS in Hyderabad-Secunderabad area and others to be opened in future so that the public get used to them.
 
Railway Board should therefore seriously consider such an important issue.

Comments of the Ministry of Railways:

The issue regarding provision of automatic doors closing/opening mechanism in EMUs had already been examined and it has been decided that it is not practicable to provide doors closing/opening mechanism before the movement of EMU trains.
 
In this context, it is mentioned that the Cabinet Sub-Committee of AP Government decided to implement the Provision of automatic door opening/closing system (Driver controlled) with forced air circulation in AC EMUs earmarked for MMTS/HYB. Further, it was decided by the authority of AP Government that Driver controller doors operating mechanism need not to be provided in AC EMUs manufactured for MMTS/Hyderabad. Therefore, as desired by AP Government, EMU coaches dispatched to MMTS/HYB are without Driver controller doors operating mechanism.
 
In view of Railways opinion, automatic doors closing/opening mechanism need not be provided in EMUs due to present prevalent loading pattern and aesthetic ventilation problems.

Further views of the Commission:

The Commission does not subscribe to the views of the Ministry of Railways. Running EMUs with open doors and passengers hanging outside, is certainly unsafe and Ministry of Railways must re-consider the views of the Commission in this perspective. The contention that Andhra Pradesh Govt. has decided that driver controller door operating mechanism need not be provided in AC EMUs manufactured for MMTS/Hyderabad is beyond the comprehension of the Commission as the safety controlling authority in the matter of train operation is the Ministry of Railways and not the State Govt.

5.3   Foundations and Completion Drawings of Bridges:-

(Item initially raised in the Annual Report 2002-03)

Views of the Commission:-

It is noted that foundation and completion drawings of a large number of bridges are not available with the Railways. While approaching the Commissioner of Railway Safety of various circles for sanction of running of new types of rolling stock on the railways, the engineering department of Railways certifies the safety of bridges without any rationale or calculations.
 
Moreover, there are a large number of bridges whose foundations remain underwater round the year. Due to non-inspection of these bridges, the integrity of the structure is not known. In case of failures of the foundation/sub-structure, it is difficult to investigate and take corrective action for the bridges where completion drawings are not available.
 
In fact, in many cases, it is only after the accident that the excavations are being done to know the type of foundations, losing valuable time and delaying the restoration.
 
The Commissioners of Railway Safety of various circles have been writing to the railways to take expeditious action for ensuring the availability of the completion drawings of bridges but the required response is not forthcoming from the Railway Administration.
 
Railway Board have been requested vide letter No.S.18011/01/2002-RS, dated 02.04.2003 to issue necessary instructions to the Zonal Railways for taking expeditious action to ensure the availability of the completion drawings of bridges.
 
The Railway Board in their reply stated that the importance of underwater inspections of bridges and mapping of unknown foundations is fully realized. Board is fully seized of the matter. Pilot projects have been approved in association with foreign specialized firms in these areas. The details are as under: -
 
1. Southern Railway Pilot Project for underwater inspection in association with M/s Wilbur Smith & Associate, USA.
2. North Central Railway Pilot Project for underwater inspection in Association with M/s Ramboll, Denmark.
3. Central Railway Pilot Project for underwater inspection in Association with M/s Collins Engineers, USA.
4. Northern Railway Mapping of unknown foundation with & Integrity testing in association with M/s Olson Engineers, USA.
  
The Pilot Project will involve theoretical and practical demonstrations and testing of 4 sample bridges. On successful completion of the pilot projects, the procedures will be adopted all over the India Railways. Meanwhile Zonal Railways have started getting underwater inspections of critical bridges done through local expertise available. The Railways have also been advised to have complete database of availability of completion drawings and foundation drawing of bridges. The Railways have been advised to make all out efforts to locate old completion drawings from records/archives. Where possible, the details would be collected from existing structures. However, it is not feasible to make completion drawings of underground deep foundations, besides their integrity evaluation. However, the techniques of NDT developed abroad will be utilized in the Pilot Project on "Mapping of Unknown Foundations and Integrity testing of Foundations".
  
In Commissions view it is unconceivable that the Bridge Certificate can be given by the Railway without the help of completion drawings, for introduction of heavier axle loads and higher speeds. In a large number of cases, the completion drawings can be reconstructed by collecting field data and foundation details. Zonal Railways may be advised to reconstruct the completion drawings at the earliest.
  

Comments of the Ministry of Railways:

Railway Board is already seized of the matter. Derailed procedure for sanction of running of new rolling stock has been issued by RDSO. It is a fact that the completion drawings are not available for some of the bridges. This relates to substructures i.e. details below ground level. A pilot project has already been sanctioned over Northern Railway to use technology developed in USA for developing such details as well assessing the integrity of underground structures. This is expected to be finalized by Northern Railway soon. Developing drawings for underground structures & assessing their integrity otherwise is a stupendous task. For the time being the procedure prescribed by RDSO is being followed based on performance of already running rolling stock.
 
As far as underwater inspection is concerned some work has already been done with the help of local expertise. The pilot projects in this area are also under finalization with foreign specialized agencies. Meanwhile the best available local expertise has been used to have underwater inspection and guideline for underwater inspection has already been issued by RDSO.

Further views of the Commission:

While the action taken by the Ministry of Railways in sanctioning pilot projects to use technology for assessing the integrity of underground structures is appreciated, it is not understood how can the procedure prescribed by RDSO in clearing the rolling stock over a bridge be helpful when the foundation details are not available. The Commission still suggests that the Ministry of Railways should rebuild all those over 100 years old bridges whose foundation details and condition of substructure below water level is not known.

5.4 Introduction of Sampoorna Kranti Express Train Patna JN. and Delhi stations upto a maximum speed of115 Kmph:-

(Item initially raised in the Annual Report of 2002-03)

Views of the Commission:-

No new super fast train at a speed of above 110 kmph should be introduced on a Railway or section of a Railway, without the sanction of concerned Commissioner(s) of Railway Safety (CRS), as required under para 6.2 of Policy Circular No.6 issued by Railway Board vide their letter No.92/CEDO/SR/4/0, dated 23.12.1999.
 
Dust and noise are potential health hazards for those who are exposed to them continuously for long duration. Hence, no train having non-AC coaches should be permitted to run at speeds above 110 kmph. unless the problem of maintenance of these coaches is satisfactorily overcome and the study of dust and noise nuisance at higher speeds is made by RDSO in a scientific manner, so that Safety and Comfort of the train passengers is not jeopardized.
 
If any train with a speed of above 110 kmph is running on Indian Railways without the Sanction of CRS, the concerned Zonal Railway should approach the respective CRS for regularization, taking the suggestions made in the preceding para into consideration.
 
However the Sampoorna Kranti Express train between Patna Jn. and New Delhi stations having maximum permissible speed of 115 kmph was introduced by the Railways not following the above provisions.
 
The issue was raised in the Annual Report 2002-03 on which the Ministry of Railways commented as under: -
 
(i)  Instructions are being circulated to Zonal Railways for compliance of Para 6.2 of Circular No.6.
 
(ii)  The issue of noise and other health hazards will be further investigated by RDSO.
 
(iii)   No maintenance problem on this train has been reported.
 
(iv)  Sampoornakranti Express was authorized to run at 115 kmph maximum permissible speed with Railway Boards approval.
 
Commissions item-wise views on the Railway Boards comments are as under: -
(i)   Noted.
 
(ii)   Railway Board is requested to advise the Commission of the progress made in the investigation being carried out by RDSO regarding noise, dust and other health hazards.
 
(iii)   The issue of running of high speed non-AC trains first came up when the proposal of increasing the speed of Poorva Express and Magadh Express train upto a maximum speed of 120 kmph was received from Northern Railway during the year 1997. These trains were permitted to run at 120 kmph on trial basis between Ghaziabad and Mughalsarai with the stipulations that the firm opinion of RDSO would be obtained on the various issues of desirability of allowing non-AC coaches at speed ot 120 kmph from consideration of noise and dust as well as suitability of 13t bogie for this high speed, vide CRS, Northern Circles letter No.184/98/Q-17 dated 04.06.98. The trial period was to end on 03.12.98.
 
However, speed of Poorva and Magadh Express trains was brought down to 110 kmph as the then CME, Eastern Railway, Kolkata, vide his D.O.No.MC/1212/Pt.I dated 17th June, 1998 had advised CME, Northern Railway that the maintenance requirement as per Technical Pamphlet C7807 is comparatively very stringent and their compliance will need additional input like IOH of coach in between POH, total clearance between pin and bushes in the brake rigging not to exceed 1.00mm etc. He also mentioned that there were many cases of breakage of brake block hangers and other brake gearing components on Poorva Express over Northern Railway which could largely be attributed to running of the train at the maximum speed of 120 kmph. CRSE/Coaching, Northern Railway vide his note No.802 M/6/16/MCI dated 24.06.1998 advised CTE, CPTM and CSO, Northern Railway accordingly and not to increase the speed of Poorva Express beyond 110 kmph.
 
It is not known to the Commission what improvements in the under gear of such coaches have been made and what extra input has been provided for their maintenance so that in the maintenance problems encountered in the case of Poorva Express and Magadh Express trains have now been eliminated. The Commission would like to know the details.
 
(iv)  As per section 27 of Railway Act 1989 and Railway Board policy circular No.6, for introducing any new super fast train with maximum permissible speed of above 110 kmph, the report of concerned Commissioners of Railway Safety is mandatory before approval by Railway Board. In the above case these provisions have been by-passed and as such not considered in order. Railway Board should have a report obtained from Commission of Railway Safety, which is a statutory requirements, before authorizing introduction of Sampoorna Kranti Express train at 115 Kmph maximum speed.

Comments of the Ministry of Railways:

Vide letter No.MC/SPD/Genl. Dated 31.01.95 RDSO had intimated the results of trials on non-AC coaches upto a speed of 115 kmph. It was stated therein that there was no appreciable increase in the decibel level from 90 to 115 kmph. Hence the operation at 120 kmph on non-AC coaches will not be objectionable from the point of view of noise. Vide letter of even number dated 31.01.95 RDSO had stated that there are no yardstick to decide whether a certain level of noise or dust is acceptable or not. It was, therefore, decided by DG/RDSO that subjective trials will be of no use. Hence, no further trial for dust accumulation and noise level at 120 kmph were conducted. RDSO had recommended provision of the following items on non-AC coaches at 120 kmph -
 
Air brake system (compulsory), Passenger Alarm System linked to flow meter (compulsory from a cut off date), UIC vestibule (recommended).
 
RDSO had sought Railway Boards decision for permitting non-AC coaches upto a maximum speed of 120 kmph.
 
Vide Boards letter No.95/M/137/42, dated 01.03.2002, it was decided to permit operation of non-AC coaches at speeds beyond 110 kmph and upto maximum speed of 120 kmph. Northern and Central Railways were asked to carry out a review to assess the effect of noise and dust levels as passenger convenience/comfort. Northern Railway had replied that no noticeable difference in noise and dust on run at 115 kmph.
 
Instructions has been issued vide Boards letter No.95M(C)/137/42 dated 28.02.2002 that the self generating trains with non-AC coaches (like Sampoorna Kranti Express) will be maintained to Rajdhani standards (RDSO Pamphlet C7807) with 6 monthly POH both at workshop prescribed for Rajdhani/Shatabdi trains.
 
Vide Boards letter No.95/M(C)/137/42 dated 06.06.2003 Northern Railway were asked to furnish necessary information for various points raised by CCRS. Northern Railway vide their letter dated 09.03.2004 have replied that Sampoorna Kranti Express is being given P.M. at PNBE and is being dealt under RPC-4 category (a) for terminal examination at New Delhi. Regarding noise and dust levels above 105 kmph no specific problem has come to light during terminal examination at NDLS. East Central Railway has stated that on Sampoorna Kranti Express the maintenance problem and sick marking is higher as compared to other long distance trains but lower than that on Rajdhani Express except for axle box spring breakage and wheel defect. The incident of wheel defect mainly shelled tread in Rajdhani coaches is almost absent perhaps due to use of cast iron brake block.
 
Instructions have since been issued to Zonal Railways vide Boards letter No.2003/CEDO/CCRS/Meeting dated 15/12/2004 to follow meticulously the instructions contained in the Policy Circular No.6.

Further views of the Commission:

Railway Board have issued instructions to Zonal Railways to follow meticulously the instructions contained in para 6.2 of the Policy Circular No.6 However, in the case of Sampoornakranti Express it is not the Zonal Railway(s) who has not followed the procedure, but the Railway Board itself who has given sanction for running of the train at its own level without obtaining the report from the Commissioner of Railway Safety.

Role of Commissioner of Railway Safety in openning of Railway Line for goods Traffic:-

(New Item)
 
The Railways Rules, 2000 (opening for public carriage of passengers) give the detailed procedure, including the documents to be submitted by the Railway Administration, for the mandatory inspection by the Commissioner of Railway Safety under Section 6(a) and 22 of the Railways Act, 1989. Railway Board vide their letter No.62/WDO/ORI/34, dated 11.10.1962 have further clarified that for opening a new double line constructed parallel to the existing line, even if such line is to be opened for goods traffic, sanction of CRS is required and all necessary documents have to be submitted to him by Railway, though his inspection prior to opening for goods traffic is not obligatory.
 
According to Para 1603 of the Indian Railways Code for the Engineering Department, 1989, the responsibility for opening a line to goods traffic and for seeing that everything is ready for such opening, rests entirely with the CE(Const.)/CAO (Const.). He is to notify the Commissioner of Railway safety concerned of the date fixed for opening the line for goods traffic.
 

Though Railway Boards letter dated 11.10.1962 and provisions in the Engineering Code, 1989 do not envisage the Statutory Inspection by the CRS before opening of a line only for goods traffic, opening a double line constructed parallel to the existing line does require sanction of the CRS. The following further provisions also indicate that CRS sanction is required for opening a line for goods traffic.

As per Section 27 of the Railways Act, 1989, for introduction of a new rolling stock on any section of the Railway, the previous sanction of the Central Government shall be obtained for which the Central Government shall obtain a report from the Commissioner of Railway Safety. In accordance with Para 8 of the Policy Circular No.6 issued by Railway Board vide their letter No.92/CEDO/SR.40/ Pt., dated 23.12.1999, in case a rolling stock is already running on any section(s) of a railway, the sanction for running this rolling stock on other sections shall be accorded by the CRS on submission of Joint Safety Certificate, Track Certificate and Bridge Certificates by the Railway Administration.

From this, it follows that on a new line introduction of any rolling stock would require CRS sanction irrespective of whether it is passenger rolling stock or goods rolling stock. It therefore implies that even for opening a section only for goods traffic, CRS sanction is required, though his inspection may not be obligatory.

Sub-para 1(b) under para 21010 of Indian Railways Manual of AC Traction Vol.II (Part I), issued vide Board, letter No.94/Elec.(G)/110/1, dated 27.02.1996 states as under:

 Where the section proposed to be brought under Electric Traction is for a line which is open for goods traffic only, CRS inspection is not obligatory. The inspection may be carried out by CEE or his nominated HODs after the clearance of EIG. After perusal of the records as required for a CRS inspection, CRS may issue sanction to energize the OHE and introduce the Electric Traction on the section which is open for goods traffic only.

From the above provision, it is quite clear that for introduction of electric traction on a line, which is open for goods traffic only, CRS sanction is required though his inspection is not obligatory. If a section is not cleared by CRS prior to its electrification, he will not be in position to give sanction for introduction of electric traction on such a section. It therefore implies that CRS sanction is essential for opening a non-electrified section for goods traffic also.

 In terms of the explanation given under Rule 3 of Statutory Investigation into Railways Accident Rules, 1998 made under Section 122 of the Railways Act, 1989, workmens trains or ballast trains or material trains or accident relief trains or tower wagons or such other trains carrying workmen, or cattle special/military specials carrying authorized escorts or similar such trains are to be treated as passenger trains and in the event of a workmen or escort being killed or grievously hurt as a result of an accident to the train, a Statutory Inquiry by the Commissioner of Railway Safety shall be obligatory.

Ballast trains, material trains and accident relief trains are going to run, though occasionally, even on a line opened for goods traffic only and therefore any serious accident on such a line killing or grievously hurting a workman will require holding of a statutory inquiry by the CRS. For this reason also, it is necessary that CRS is aware of the features of the section and therefore his sanction for opening of such a section even for goods traffic is considered essential.

 Indian RailwaySchedule of Dimensions do not make any distinction between a line to be constructed for passenger traffic or for that matter for goods traffic.

Comments of the Ministry of Railways:

The current practice of opening up of Railways line for goods traffic by CE(Const)/CAO(Const) has been useful for last so many years. It provides an opportunity to start freight operations in shortest possible time. If CRS sanction is made mandatory for starting even the freight operations then it may lead to delays, which would not be in the interest of Indian Railways.

It would be worth to consider the background of para 1602E & 1603E which authorizes the Chief Engineer (CON) to open a new line for goods traffic. Actually, the preceding para 1603E itself gives the background. It states A line under construction should not be left un-remunerative longer than it is absolutely necessary. As soon as possible, after the rails have been linked through in a section of a line under construction, reasonable facilities for receipt and dispatch of goods and parcels should be provided at all important stations on that section, so that it may be opened for goods traffic. It then further defines the reasonable facilities.

From the above it is quite evident that goods traffic can be started even if the track has not been brought to final line and level and to final shape, such as converting it to LWR/CWR etc. Not only this, all the facilities at way side stations which are required for running the passenger services may not be in place. Since all these services take quite a long time and approaching CRS before completing all these facilities will not be a proper step hence running even the goods services might get delayed. Moreover, even carrying the construction materials by the completed line would be very much difficult and would get often delayed if the argument forwarded by the Commission is accepted.

Over and above policies for opening which are formed under the Railway Act and is a legal document specifies the CRS sanction only in case carriage of passengers.

These are perhaps the reasons as to why the powers have been delegated with CE(CON) only for opening a new line for goods traffic. Further, CE(Const.) are having normally an experience of about twenty years and are considered technically competent to ensure basic safety parameters.

Other instances cited by the Commission to reinforce the case are the indirect references whereas the provision of the Engg. Code is a direct implicit and an unambiguous reference so as the case of Railway Opening for Public Carriage of Passenger Rules, 2000.

The requirement in case of doubling is entirely different. The old line is already opened for passenger services hence opening a new double line even for goods traffic impinges upon the safety of passengers.

For other points of the Commission, the comments are given below: -

(i)    It is correct that para 8 of Policy Circular No.6 referred to by the Commission states that if a rolling stock is running on a section(s), then permission for running the same rolling stock can be given by CRS. However, this has been further clarified in Boards letter No.92/CEDO/SR/0 dated 12.12.94 that the section actually is a Railway. Therefore, if that be so, any rolling stock if already running over a Railway, then it can also run on the new line constructed on that railway without requiring the permission of CRS.

(ii)     CRSs sanction for electrifying a line even for goods traffic is in order and altogether is a different subject. It does not necessarily implies that opening a new line for goods traffic should also require sanction of CRS.

(iii)   Definition of a passenger train in Railway Accident Rules, 1998 is totally from a different point of view. In case of an accident of a train involving injury/death of a workman, CRS may conduct an enquiry and the sectional details whatever required by the CRS would be provided by the Railway at that time. Prior information of the features of the section to CRS in such cases may not be necessary.

(iv)    It is in order.

(v)    As per the existing instructions, administrative approval is required in case yard gradient is steeper than 1 in 1200 in case of a new line and proper condonation through CRS/CCRS if it is steeper than 1 in 400. Hence, if there is any specific case that can be dealt separately and appropriate action may be taken.

An inspection of a new line before opening for passenger traffic is a statutory requirement. Inspection for permitting the line to be used for freight traffic would entail inspection by CRS twice diverting  attention from other important work which is not desirable.

Considering above, it is considered that the existing provision of the Engg. Code are adequate in this regard and dont require any change.

Further views of the Commission: 

In its comments, the Ministry of Railways have brought out the following main points

(i)      If CRS sanction is made mandatory for starting even the freight operation then it may lead to delays, which would not be in the interest of Indian Railways.

(ii)     Even carrying the construction materials by the completed line would be very much difficult and would often get delayed if the argument forwarded by the Commission is accepted.

(iii)     It has been further clarified in Boards letter No.92/CEDO/SR/0 dated 12.12.1994 that the section actually is a Railway. Therefore, if that be so, any rolling stock if already running over the Railway can also run on the new line constructed on that Railway without requiring permission of the CRS.

(iv)     Inspection for permitting the line to be used for freight traffic would entail inspection by CRS twice diverting attention from other important works, which is not desirable.

The comments of the Commission on the above points are as under

(a)   In regard to items (i) and (iv) above, nowhere it has been suggested that opening of a line for freight operation requires CRS inspection. Rather, it has been mentioned that the inspection by CRS of a section to be opened only for goods traffic may not be obligatory and the sanction of the CRS may be given based on the submission of documents and Joint Safety certificate signed by the concerned Principal Heads of Department etc. The observation of the Ministry of Railways that obtaining CRS sanction may lead to delays is not acceptable to the Commission as the cases of opening are dealt by the Commission with utmost urgency.

(b)   It is nowhere suggested that even material trains cannot run without CRS sanction. The whole issue is whether the regular commercial goods services can be introduced without CRS sanction.

(c)   Railway Boards letter dated 12.12.94 referred to by the Ministry of Railways nowhere mentions that a rolling stock already running over a Railway can be run on the new line constructed on that Railway without requiring the permission of the CRS. Rather, it says that the Railway Boards sanction is required only for one section and for others the concerned CRS can be approached for giving sanction.  Para 8 of Policy Circular No.6 issued by Railway Board vide letter No.92/CEDO/SR/4/0 Pt., dated 23.12.1999 provides as under-

Sanction for the use of Rolling Stock already running on any section(s) of a Railway

In the case of rolling stock already running on any section(s) of a Railway, the sanction can be accorded by the Commissioner of Railway Safety on the submission of safety certificates as per Annexure A, B and C. A proforma for sanction is given in Annexure F.

It is still ambiguous to what extent the Commission is involved in the matter of Railway lines to be opened or already opened for goods traffic only. Will CRS sanction be required for carrying out new minor works, rebuilding of bridges, Level Crossings, etc. on such new lines and whether schedule of dimensions will be applicable to these goods lines. These issues still need to be clarified, if the sanction of CRS is considered not necessary for opening of goods lines for running of regular commercial freight trains.

5.6  Adminstrative Approval by Railway Board on infrignment to schedule of Dimesions without consulting Commision:

 

(New Item)

1.   As per the present practice in railway projects, the zonal railways take Railway Boards administrative approval in two types of cases:

(i)    Administrative approval for not being able to follow the recommended dimensions prescribed in Schedule-II of the Schedule of Dimensions, which are generally considered good practice, the adoption of which will lead to very desirable uniformity on Indian Railways. However, these are not to be treated as standards, a departure from which requires sanction.

(ii)    There are certain other types of infringements to Schedule of Dimensions, adoption of which ultimately requires Railway Boards sanction, for example, gradients in yards steeper than 1 in 260, horizontal implantation of structures less than 2360 mm  in electrified territories etc., which are contemplated at the initial stage of the project and railways obtain administrative approval from the Railway Board without routing through CRS/CCRS. Later on they obtain condonation through CRS/CCRS when the project is almost complete and ready for inspection by the CRS.

2.    While there is no condonation involved in the first type of cases and the Commission is satisfied only with the administrative approval secured by the zonal railways from Railway Board, in the second type of cases the Commission comes into picture at a very late stage when the project is ready for opening. Taking sanction through the Commission at that stage is more or less a formality in the face of administrative approval already given. In Commissios view, this is not a satisfactory arrangement and needs a change.

3.    It is, therefore, considered that railway should provide broad parameters of the project to the Commission at the initial stage itself. The system of obtaining administrative approval first and then approaching the Railway Board for sanction of the infringements through the CRS/CCRS when the project is at the final stage of completion should be replaced by only sanction of the Railway Board through CRS/CCRS in the beginning itself and not when the project is ready for offering to the CRS for inspection and opening. In view of the foregoing, the system of administrative approval in the type of cases mentioned in para (ii) supra should be done away with. Any change in the design and other parameters of the projects should be apprised to the Commission from time to time and if the parameters have changed involving condonation, the sanction for the same should be obtained again. 

The matter was referred to Railway Board by the Commission vide its letter No.Q-21012/01/03-RS, dated 31.03.2003 with reminders issued on 17.06.2003 and 09.09.2004. However the comments of Railway Board are awaited.

Comments of the Ministry of Railways:

The point raised by Commissioner is logical. At present, such problem is being faced in case of Yard gradients, Horizontal clearances and spacing of tracks wherein some of the cases, both, administrative approval of Railway Board as well as condonation of the Board through CRS/CCRS are being obtained.

To set right the things, the following is proposed: -

Railways would continue to obtain administrative approval of Board in all cases which are governed by Correction Slip 11 to note above Chapter IR of Schedule II of SOD(BG), reprinted in 1973. In other cases, following procedure would be followed-

(1)    Gradient in yards. (Ref. Boards letter No.88/CEDO/Sd/8 dt.20.6.01).

(a)     In case of new line/new station:

If gradient in yard in connection with new lines/new station is flatter than 1 in 400 but sleeper than 1 in 1200, in such cases, Railway should only obtain the administrative approval of Railway Board well in advance than undertaking the work and there should not be any need for further condonation of the gradients through CRS/CCRS as the gradient is still flatter than what is prescribed in Schedule I of SOD.

(b)    In case of Gauge conversion and doubling:

If gradient is steeper than 1 in 400 is upto 1 in 260 than only the approval of concerned CRS should be obtained and Board be kept advised about the justification of not providing gradient of 1 in 400 or flatter. However, if the gradient is steeper than 1 in 260 then only condonation of Board through CRS/CCRS should be obtained.

(2)    Horizontal clearance in yard:

(i)     By Railways: (a) In all cases of new lines/doubling/ additional line/loop only administrative approval of Board should be obtained by the Railway if the horizontal clearance from central line of the nearest track to any structure is less than 2360 mm but more than or equal to 2135 mm.

(b)    Only condonation of Board through CRS/CCRS if the horizontal clearance from the nearest track center is less than 2135 mm.

(i)   BY CORE in case of RE Projects: Only condonation through CRS/CCRS in all cases where horizontal clearance is less than 2360 mm.

(3)     Spacing of tracks: (a) In case of new lines/doubling/gauge conversion/remodeling of existing yard.

(i)      If track centers are at a distance less than 5300mm but more than 4725 mm then only the administrative approval of the Railway Board would be needed.

(ii)     If track centers are less than 4725 mm then only the condonation of Board through CRS/CCRS would be needed.

Further views of the Commission:

While the proposal put forward by the Ministry of Railways is acceptable, it does not cover all the cases of condonation of infringements. Nothing has been mentioned about the infringement to the vertical dimensions requiring condonation. It is therefore suggested that Railway Board may issue directives to the Zonal Railways that in the case of items requiring condonation of infringements, no prior administrative approval shall be given and the Railways should approach the Railway Board through CRS/CCRS for the condonation of such infringements well in advance and not at the eleventh hour of opening of the Section. Railway Board may endorse a copy of instructions so issued to the Commission.

5.7  Provision of Twin Pipe Brake System for hight speed (100Kmph) Frieght Stock:

1.   The twin pipe air brake system on freight wagons was discontinued on Indian Railways during the year 1992, mainly on account of difficulty experienced in their maintenance and since then the freight trains are running with single pipe air brake system. The maximum speeds of most of the freight trains so far were restricted to 75/80 kmph. However, coaches of all passenger-carrying trains are equipped with twin pipe air brake system only.

2.    Few years back, the Railway Board took a decision to go in for the design/procurement of high-speed freight stock to raise the maximum speed of goods trains to 100 kmph. It was in the year 1998 when the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) procured high-speed BG low platform container flats, which were permitted to run at 100 kmph on trial basis between TKD and Mumbai (Jawaharlal Nehru Port) with the BVZC four wheeler brake vans. The trial runs were extended from time to time and in the mean time oscillation trials of brake van type BVZC were carried out. When the Western Railway approached the Railway Board, through the Commission, for regular running of freight trains with these container flats and BVZC brake van, it was felt by the Commission that such trains should have superior features and BVZC brake van should also be replaced with a better design of brake van having superior riding behavior at least comparable with the locomotive.

3.    Agreeing with the Commissions view point, the Railway Board accorded their sanction for running of brake van type BVZC at 100 kmph for a period of two years vide letter No.98/CEDO/SR/9 dated November, 2000 with the expectation that in the mean while, a different type of brake van, meeting the requirement of superior riding behavior, would have been developed. Similar sanction for running of BG low platform container flats was accorded by Railway Board vide their letter No.88/CEDO/SR/4 dated January, 16th, 2001. One of the main conditions of these sanctions was-

Container flat wagons and captive BVZC brake vans to run at 100 kmph, to be procured in future, should be equipped with twin pipe air brake system to hasten release of brakes

1.  The twin pipe air brake system on freight wagons was discontinued on Indian Railways during the year 1992, mainly on account of difficulty experienced in their maintenance and since then the freight trains are running with single pipe air brake system. The maximum speeds of most of the freight trains so far were restricted to 75/80 kmph. However, coaches of all passenger-carrying trains are equipped with twin pipe air brake system only.

2.  Few years back, the Railway Board took a decision to go in for the design/procurement of high-speed freight stock to raise the maximum speed of goods trains to 100 kmph. It was in the year 1998 when the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) procured high-speed BG low platform container flats, which were permitted to run at 100 kmph on trial basis between TKD and Mumbai (Jawaharlal Nehru Port) with the BVZC four wheeler brake vans. The trial runs were extended from time to time and in the mean time oscillation trials of brake van type BVZC were carried out. When the Western Railway approached the Railway Board, through the Commission, for regular running of freight trains with these container flats and BVZC brake van, it was felt by the Commission that such trains should have superior features and BVZC brake van should also be replaced with a better design of brake van having superior riding behavior at least comparable with the locomotive.

3.    Agreeing with the Commissions view point, the Railway Board accorded their sanction for running of brake van type BVZC at 100 kmph for a period of two years vide letter No.98/CEDO/SR/9 dated November, 2000 with the expectation that in the mean while, a different type of brake van, meeting the requirement of superior riding behavior, would have been developed. Similar sanction for running of BG low platform container flats was accorded by Railway Board vide their letter No.88/CEDO/SR/4 dated January, 16th, 2001. One of the main conditions of these sanctions was-

Container flat wagons and captive BVZC brake vans to run at 100 kmph, to be procured in future, should be equipped with twin pipe air brake system to hasten release of brakes

3.1    RDSO further designed other varieties of high speed freight stock namely BOXNHA, BOXNHS, BCNAHS etc. with a view to run them at a maximum speed of 100 kmph. Their running on Indian Railways was also sanctioned with the condition of equipping them with twin pipe air brake system. While giving sanction for the running of bogie covered wagon type BCNA-HS over Northern Railway, as late as on 18.11.2003, Railway Board directed the Executive Director/(Wagon), RDSO for taking necessary action on the mass manufacture of these wagons with twin pipe air brake system to facilitate quick release of brakes, to avoid brake binding and consequent damage to track. Before this, RDSO vide letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003 addressed to Railway Board, had also listed the advantages of twin pipe air brake system over the single pipe one and advocated going in for twin pipe air brake system for freight stock.

4. However, of late Railway Board has reversed its earlier view and has decided to continue with the single pipe air brake system for the high speed freight stock also, as conveyed vide its letter No.98/M(N)/204/4/Vol.I dated 10/13.11.2003 on the premise that twin pipe system is costly as compared to single pipe system and that speed potential of 100 kmph is not relevant to twin pipe system

5.  RDSO, which is the highest technical body on Indian Railways and functions as the Technical Advisor to the Railway Board had conveyed to them vide their letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003, as under

Railway Board has also taken a decision to procure all freight wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation. It is proposed that all newly built wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation shall be fitted with twin pipe brake system. The advantages of providing twin pipe brake system are as under: -

(i)    Provision of twin pipe will result into improved application and release of brakes.

(ii)   Due to improved release timings of twin pipe, it would be easier for driver to control the train.

(iii)  Due to improved release and application timings, drag on the train will be reduced resulting into better fuel economy/reduced drag would also mean reduced shuttling action and in turn reduced longitudinal forces on coupler and draft gear system.

In view of above, Board is requested to issue suitable instruction.

6.   Thus the most obvious advantage of twin pipe air brake system is that it hastens the release of brakes and thereby protects the rolling stock from developing flats in the wheels and prevents damage to the rails. Therefore, it was felt that the railways should go for better system at higher speeds so that overall reliability of the assets is improved. No doubt, twin pipe system is costly compared to the single pipe system and may require more efforts in maintenance also, yet for assets reliability and consequent repercussions on safety of traveling public, the cost has to be incurred and better maintenance standards have to be adopted. This is precisely the reason why the railway is continuing with the twin pipe air brake system for the passenger coaches.

7.   The Commission has, therefore, serious reservation on the major shift in the position now taken by the Railway Board to continue with the single pipe air brake system from their earlier decision of procuring/manufacturing of high-speed freight stock equipped with twin pipe air brake system. As more and more high-speed freight trains will be introduced on Indian Railway system in time to come, it is in the overall interest of safety and reliability of assets that the Indian Railways should have gone for freight trains fitted with twin pipe air brake system.

8.   Railway Board is once again advised to reconsider the whole issue seriously in the interest of safe train operation.

1.The twin pipe air brake system on freight wagons was discontinued on Indian Railways during the year 1992, mainly on account of difficulty experienced in their maintenance and since then the freight trains are running with single pipe air brake system. The maximum speeds of most of the freight trains so far were restricted to 75/80 kmph. However, coaches of all passenger-carrying trains are equipped with twin pipe air brake system only.

2.   Few years back, the Railway Board took a decision to go in for the design/procurement of high-speed freight stock to raise the maximum speed of goods trains to 100 kmph. It was in the year 1998 when the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) procured high-speed BG low platform container flats, which were permitted to run at 100 kmph on trial basis between TKD and Mumbai (Jawaharlal Nehru Port) with the BVZC four wheeler brake vans. The trial runs were extended from time to time and in the mean time oscillation trials of brake van type BVZC were carried out. When the Western Railway approached the Railway Board, through the Commission, for regular running of freight trains with these container flats and BVZC brake van, it was felt by the Commission that such trains should have superior features and BVZC brake van should also be replaced with a better design of brake van having superior riding behavior at least comparable with the locomotive. 

3.   Agreeing with the Commissions view point, the Railway Board accorded their sanction for running of brake van type BVZC at 100 kmph for a period of two years vide letter No.98/CEDO/SR/9 dated November, 2000 with the expectation that in the mean while, a different type of brake van, meeting the requirement of superior riding behavior, would have been developed. Similar sanction for running of BG low platform container flats was accorded by Railway Board vide their letter No.88/CEDO/SR/4 dated January, 16th, 2001. One of the main conditions of these sanctions was-

Container flat wagons and captive BVZC brake vans to run at 100 kmph, to be procured in future, should be equipped with twin pipe air brake system to hasten release of brakes

3.1   RDSO further designed other varieties of high speed freight stock namely BOXNHA, BOXNHS, BCNAHS etc. with a view to run them at a maximum speed of 100 kmph. Their running on Indian Railways was also sanctioned with the condition of equipping them with twin pipe air brake system. While giving sanction for the running of bogie covered wagon type BCNA-HS over Northern Railway, as late as on 18.11.2003, Railway Board directed the Executive Director/(Wagon), RDSO for taking necessary action on the mass manufacture of these wagons with twin pipe air brake system to facilitate quick release of brakes, to avoid brake binding and consequent damage to track. Before this, RDSO vide letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003 addressed to Railway Board, had also listed the advantages of twin pipe air brake system over the single pipe one and advocated going in for twin pipe air brake system for freight stock.

4.    However, of late Railway Board has reversed its earlier view and has decided to continue with the single pipe air brake system for the high speed freight stock also, as conveyed vide its letter No.98/M(N)/204/4/Vol.I dated 10/13.11.2003 on the premise that twin pipe system is costly as compared to single pipe system and that speed potential of 100 kmph is not relevant to twin pipe system.

5.  RDSO, which is the highest technical body on Indian Railways and functions as the Technical Advisor to the Railway Board had conveyed to them vide their letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003, as under:

 Railway Board has also taken a decision to procure all freight wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation. It is proposed that all newly built wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation shall be fitted with twin pipe brake system. The advantages of providing twin pipe brake system are as under: -

(i)   Provision of twin pipe will result into improved application and release of brakes.

(ii)  Due to improved release timings of twin pipe, it would be easier for driver to control the train.

(iii)  Due to improved release and application timings, drag on the train will be reduced resulting into better fuel economy/reduced drag would also mean reduced shuttling action and in turn reduced longitudinal forces on coupler and draft gear system.

In view of above, Board is requested to issue suitable instruction.

6.  Thus the most obvious advantage of twin pipe air brake system is that it hastens the release of brakes and thereby protects the rolling stock from developing flats in the wheels and prevents damage to the rails. Therefore, it was felt that the railways should go for better system at higher speeds so that overall reliability of the assets is improved. No doubt, twin pipe system is costly compared to the single pipe system and may require more efforts in maintenance also, yet for assets reliability and consequent repercussions on safety of traveling public, the cost has to be incurred and better maintenance standards have to be adopted. This is precisely the reason why the railway is continuing with the twin pipe air brake system for the passenger coaches 

7.  The Commission has, therefore, serious reservation on the major shift in the position now taken by the Railway Board to continue with the single pipe air brake system from their earlier decision of procuring/manufacturing of high-speed freight stock equipped with twin pipe air brake system. As more and more high-speed freight trains will be introduced on Indian Railway system in time to come, it is in the overall interest of safety and reliability of assets that the Indian Railways should have gone for freight trains fitted with twin pipe air brake system.

8.   Railway Board is once again advised to reconsider the whole issue seriously in the interest of safe train operation.

1. The twin pipe air brake system on freight wagons was discontinued on Indian Railways during the year 1992, mainly on account of difficulty experienced in their maintenance and since then the freight trains are running with single pipe air brake system. The maximum speeds of most of the freight trains so far were restricted to 75/80 kmph. However, coaches of all passenger-carrying trains are equipped with twin pipe air brake system only.

2.  Few years back, the Railway Board took a decision to go in for the design/procurement of high-speed freight stock to raise the maximum speed of goods trains to 100 kmph. It was in the year 1998 when the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) procured high-speed BG low platform container flats, which were permitted to run at 100 kmph on trial basis between TKD and Mumbai (Jawaharlal Nehru Port) with the BVZC four wheeler brake vans. The trial runs were extended from time to time and in the mean time oscillation trials of brake van type BVZC were carried out. When the Western Railway approached the Railway Board, through the Commission, for regular running of freight trains with these container flats and BVZC brake van, it was felt by the Commission that such trains should have superior features and BVZC brake van should also be replaced with a better design of brake van having superior riding behavior at least comparable with the locomotive.

3.  Agreeing with the Commissions view point, the Railway Board accorded their sanction for running of brake van type BVZC at 100 kmph for a period of two years vide letter No.98/CEDO/SR/9 dated November, 2000 with the expectation that in the mean while, a different type of brake van, meeting the requirement of superior riding behavior, would have been developed. Similar sanction for running of BG low platform container flats was accorded by Railway Board vide their letter No.88/CEDO/SR/4 dated January, 16th, 2001. One of the main conditions of these sanctions was 

Container flat wagons and captive BVZC brake vans to run at 100 kmph, to be procured in future, should be equipped with twin pipe air brake system to hasten release of brakes.

3.1    RDSO further designed other varieties of high speed freight stock namely BOXNHA, BOXNHS, BCNAHS etc. with a view to run them at a maximum speed of 100 kmph. Their running on Indian Railways was also sanctioned with the condition of equipping them with twin pipe air brake system. While giving sanction for the running of bogie covered wagon type BCNA-HS over Northern Railway, as late as on 18.11.2003, Railway Board directed the Executive Director/(Wagon), RDSO for taking necessary action on the mass manufacture of these wagons with twin pipe air brake system to facilitate quick release of brakes, to avoid brake binding and consequent damage to track. Before this, RDSO vide letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003 addressed to Railway Board, had also listed the advantages of twin pipe air brake system over the single pipe one and advocated going in for twin pipe air brake system for freight stock. 

4.   However, of late Railway Board has reversed its earlier view and has decided to continue with the single pipe air brake system for the high speed freight stock also, as conveyed vide its letter No.98/M(N)/204/4/Vol.I dated 10/13.11.2003 on the premise that twin pipe system is costly as compared to single pipe system and that speed potential of 100 kmph is not relevant to twin pipe system.

 5. RDSO, which is the highest technical body on Indian Railways and functions as the Technical Advisor to the Railway Board had conveyed to them vide their letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003, as under:

 Railway Board has also taken a decision to procure all freight wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation. It is proposed that all newly built wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation shall be fitted with twin pipe brake system. The advantages of providing twin pipe brake system are as under: -

(i)   Provision of twin pipe will result into improved application and release of brakes. 

(ii) Due to improved release timings of twin pipe, it would be easier for driver to control the train.

(iii) Due to improved release and application timings, drag on the train will be reduced resulting into better fuel economy/reduced drag would also mean reduced shuttling action and in turn reduced longitudinal forces on coupler and draft gear system. 

In view of above, Board is requested to issue suitable instruction.

6. Thus the most obvious advantage of twin pipe air brake system is that it hastens the release of brakes and thereby protects the rolling stock from developing flats in the wheels and prevents damage to the rails. Therefore, it was felt that the railways should go for better system at higher speeds so that overall reliability of the assets is improved. No doubt, twin pipe system is costly compared to the single pipe system and may require more efforts in maintenance also, yet for assets reliability and consequent repercussions on safety of traveling public, the cost has to be incurred and better maintenance standards have to be adopted. This is precisely the reason why the railway is continuing with the twin pipe air brake system for the passenger coaches.

7.   The Commission has, therefore, serious reservation on the major shift in the position now taken by the Railway Board to continue with the single pipe air brake system from their earlier decision of procuring/manufacturing of high-speed freight stock equipped with twin pipe air brake system. As more and more high-speed freight trains will be introduced on Indian Railway system in time to come, it is in the overall interest of safety and reliability of assets that the Indian Railways should have gone for freight trains fitted with twin pipe air brake system.

8. Railway Board is once again advised to reconsider the whole issue seriously in the interest of safe train operation. 1.                  The twin pipe air brake system on freight wagons was discontinued on Indian Railways during the year 1992, mainly on account of difficulty experienced in their maintenance and since then the freight trains are running with single pipe air brake system. The maximum speeds of most of the freight trains so far were restricted to 75/80 kmph. However, coaches of all passenger-carrying trains are equipped with twin pipe air brake system only.

2.  Few years back, the Railway Board took a decision to go in for the design/procurement of high-speed freight stock to raise the maximum speed of goods trains to 100 kmph. It was in the year 1998 when the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) procured high-speed BG low platform container flats, which were permitted to run at 100 kmph on trial basis between TKD and Mumbai (Jawaharlal Nehru Port) with the BVZC four wheeler brake vans. The trial runs were extended from time to time and in the mean time oscillation trials of brake van type BVZC were carried out. When the Western Railway approached the Railway Board, through the Commission, for regular running of freight trains with these container flats and BVZC brake van, it was felt by the Commission that such trains should have superior features and BVZC brake van should also be replaced with a better design of brake van having superior riding behavior at least comparable with the locomotive.

3. Agreeing with the Commissions view point, the Railway Board accorded their sanction for running of brake van type BVZC at 100 kmph for a period of two years vide letter No.98/CEDO/SR/9 dated November, 2000 with the expectation that in the mean while, a different type of brake van, meeting the requirement of superior riding behavior, would have been developed. Similar sanction for running of BG low platform container flats was accorded by Railway Board vide their letter No.88/CEDO/SR/4 dated January, 16th, 2001. One of the main conditions of these sanctions was-

Container flat wagons and captive BVZC brake vans to run at 100 kmph, to be procured in future, should be equipped with twin pipe air brake system to hasten release of brakes

3.1    RDSO further designed other varieties of high speed freight stock namely BOXNHA, BOXNHS, BCNAHS etc. with a view to run them at a maximum speed of 100 kmph. Their running on Indian Railways was also sanctioned with the condition of equipping them with twin pipe air brake system. While giving sanction for the running of bogie covered wagon type BCNA-HS over Northern Railway, as late as on 18.11.2003, Railway Board directed the Executive Director/(Wagon), RDSO for taking necessary action on the mass manufacture of these wagons with twin pipe air brake system to facilitate quick release of brakes, to avoid brake binding and consequent damage to track. Before this, RDSO vide letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003 addressed to Railway Board, had also listed the advantages of twin pipe air brake system over the single pipe one and advocated going in for twin pipe air brake system for freight stock.

4. However, of late Railway Board has reversed its earlier view and has decided to continue with the single pipe air brake system for the high speed freight stock also, as conveyed vide its letter No.98/M(N)/204/4/Vol.I dated 10/13.11.2003 on the premise that twin pipe system is costly as compared to single pipe system and that speed potential of 100 kmph is not relevant to twin pipe system.

5. RDSO, which is the highest technical body on Indian Railways and functions as the Technical Advisor to the Railway Board had conveyed to them vide their letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003, as under:

Railway Board has also taken a decision to procure all freight wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation. It is proposed that all newly built wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation shall be fitted with twin pipe brake system. The advantages of providing twin pipe brake system are as under: -

(i)  Provision of twin pipe will result into improved application and release of brakes.

(ii)  Due to improved release timings of twin pipe, it would be easier for driver to control the train.

(iii) Due to improved release and application timings, drag on the train will be reduced resulting into better fuel economy/reduced drag would also mean reduced shuttling action and in turn reduced longitudinal forces on coupler and draft gear system.

In view of above, Board is requested to issue suitable instruction.

6. Thus the most obvious advantage of twin pipe air brake system is that it hastens the release of brakes and thereby protects the rolling stock from developing flats in the wheels and prevents damage to the rails. Therefore, it was felt that the railways should go for better system at higher speeds so that overall reliability of the assets is improved. No doubt, twin pipe system is costly compared to the single pipe system and may require more efforts in maintenance also, yet for assets reliability and consequent repercussions on safety of traveling public, the cost has to be incurred and better maintenance standards have to be adopted. This is precisely the reason why the railway is continuing with the twin pipe air brake system for the passenger coaches.

1.  The twin pipe air brake system on freight wagons was discontinued on Indian Railways during the year 1992, mainly on account of difficulty experienced in their maintenance and since then the freight trains are running with single pipe air brake system. The maximum speeds of most of the freight trains so far were restricted to 75/80 kmph. However, coaches of all passenger-carrying trains are equipped with twin pipe air brake system only.

2.   Few years back, the Railway Board took a decision to go in for the design/procurement of high-speed freight stock to raise the maximum speed of goods trains to 100 kmph. It was in the year 1998 when the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) procured high-speed BG low platform container flats, which were permitted to run at 100 kmph on trial basis between TKD and Mumbai (Jawaharlal Nehru Port) with the BVZC four wheeler brake vans. The trial runs were extended from time to time and in the mean time oscillation trials of brake van type BVZC were carried out. When the Western Railway approached the Railway Board, through the Commission, for regular running of freight trains with these container flats and BVZC brake van, it was felt by the Commission that such trains should have superior features and BVZC brake van should also be replaced with a better design of brake van having superior riding behavior at least comparable with the locomotive.

3.  Agreeing with the Commissions view point, the Railway Board accorded their sanction for running of brake van type BVZC at 100 kmph for a period of two years vide letter No.98/CEDO/SR/9 dated November, 2000 with the expectation that in the mean while, a different type of brake van, meeting the requirement of superior riding behavior, would have been developed. Similar sanction for running of BG low platform container flats was accorded by Railway Board vide their letter No.88/CEDO/SR/4 dated January, 16th, 2001. One of the main conditions of these sanctions was-

Container flat wagons and captive BVZC brake vans to run at 100 kmph, to be procured in future, should be equipped with twin pipe air brake system to hasten release of brakes

3.1   RDSO further designed other varieties of high speed freight stock namely BOXNHA, BOXNHS, BCNAHS etc. with a view to run them at a maximum speed of 100 kmph. Their running on Indian Railways was also sanctioned with the condition of equipping them with twin pipe air brake system. While giving sanction for the running of bogie covered wagon type BCNA-HS over Northern Railway, as late as on 18.11.2003, Railway Board directed the Executive Director/(Wagon), RDSO for taking necessary action on the mass manufacture of these wagons with twin pipe air brake system to facilitate quick release of brakes, to avoid brake binding and consequent damage to track. Before this, RDSO vide letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003 addressed to Railway Board, had also listed the advantages of twin pipe air brake system over the single pipe one and advocated going in for twin pipe air brake system for freight stock 

4.   However, of late Railway Board has reversed its earlier view and has decided to continue with the single pipe air brake system for the high speed freight stock also, as conveyed vide its letter No.98/M(N)/204/4/Vol.I dated 10/13.11.2003 on the premise that twin pipe system is costly as compared to single pipe system and that speed potential of 100 kmph is not relevant to twin pipe system.

5 . RDSO, which is the highest technical body on Indian Railways and functions as the Technical Advisor to the Railway Board had conveyed to them vide their letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003, as under:

Railway Board has also taken a decision to procure all freight wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation. It is proposed that all newly built wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation shall be fitted with twin pipe brake system. The advantages of providing twin pipe brake system are as under: -

(i) Provision of twin pipe will result into improved application and release of brakes.

(ii)  Due to improved release timings of twin pipe, it would be easier for driver to control the train.

(iii) Due to improved release and application timings, drag on the train will be reduced resulting into better fuel economy/reduced drag would also mean reduced shuttling action and in turn reduced longitudinal forces on coupler and draft gear system.

In view of above, Board is requested to issue suitable instruction.

6. Thus the most obvious advantage of twin pipe air brake system is that it hastens the release of brakes and thereby protects the rolling stock from developing flats in the wheels and prevents damage to the rails. Therefore, it was felt that the railways should go for better system at higher speeds so that overall reliability of the assets is improved. No doubt, twin pipe system is costly compared to the single pipe system and may require more efforts in maintenance also, yet for assets reliability and consequent repercussions on safety of traveling public, the cost has to be incurred and better maintenance standards have to be adopted. This is precisely the reason why the railway is continuing with the twin pipe air brake system for the passenger coaches.

7.    The Commission has, therefore, serious reservation on the major shift in the position now taken by the Railway Board to continue with the single pipe air brake system from their earlier decision of procuring/manufacturing of high-speed freight stock equipped with twin pipe air brake system. As more and more high-speed freight trains will be introduced on Indian Railway system in time to come, it is in the overall interest of safety and reliability of assets that the Indian Railways should have gone for freight trains fitted with twin pipe air brake system.

8.    Railway Board is once again advised to reconsider the whole issue seriously in the interest of safe train operation.

1.   The twin pipe air brake system on freight wagons was discontinued on Indian Railways during the year 1992, mainly on account of difficulty experienced in their maintenance and since then the freight trains are running with single pipe air brake system. The maximum speeds of most of the freight trains so far were restricted to 75/80 kmph. However, coaches of all passenger-carrying trains are equipped with twin pipe air brake system only.

2.    Few years back, the Railway Board took a decision to go in for the design/procurement of high-speed freight stock to raise the maximum speed of goods trains to 100 kmph. It was in the year 1998 when the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) procured high-speed BG low platform container flats, which were permitted to run at 100 kmph on trial basis between TKD and Mumbai (Jawaharlal Nehru Port) with the BVZC four wheeler brake vans. The trial runs were extended from time to time and in the mean time oscillation trials of brake van type BVZC were carried out. When the Western Railway approached the Railway Board, through the Commission, for regular running of freight trains with these container flats and BVZC brake van, it was felt by the Commission that such trains should have superior features and BVZC brake van should also be replaced with a better design of brake van having superior riding behavior at least comparable with the locomotive.

3.   Agreeing with the Commissions view point, the Railway Board accorded their sanction for running of brake van type BVZC at 100 kmph for a period of two years vide letter No.98/CEDO/SR/9 dated November, 2000 with the expectation that in the mean while, a different type of brake van, meeting the requirement of superior riding behavior, would have been developed. Similar sanction for running of BG low platform container flats was accorded by Railway Board vide their letter No.88/CEDO/SR/4 dated January, 16th, 2001. One of the main conditions of these sanctions was- 

Container flat wagons and captive BVZC brake vans to run at 100 kmph, to be procured in future, should be equipped with twin pipe air brake system to hasten release of brakes

3.1    RDSO further designed other varieties of high speed freight stock namely BOXNHA, BOXNHS, BCNAHS etc. with a view to run them at a maximum speed of 100 kmph. Their running on Indian Railways was also sanctioned with the condition of equipping them with twin pipe air brake system. While giving sanction for the running of bogie covered wagon type BCNA-HS over Northern Railway, as late as on 18.11.2003, Railway Board directed the Executive Director/(Wagon), RDSO for taking necessary action on the mass manufacture of these wagons with twin pipe air brake system to facilitate quick release of brakes, to avoid brake binding and consequent damage to track. Before this, RDSO vide letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003 addressed to Railway Board, had also listed the advantages of twin pipe air brake system over the single pipe one and advocated going in for twin pipe air brake system for freight stock.

4.   However, of late Railway Board has reversed its earlier view and has decided to continue with the single pipe air brake system for the high speed freight stock also, as conveyed vide its letter No.98/M(N)/204/4/Vol.I dated 10/13.11.2003 on the premise that twin pipe system is costly as compared to single pipe system and that speed potential of 100 kmph is not relevant to twin pipe system.

5.   RDSO, which is the highest technical body on Indian Railways and functions as the Technical Advisor to the Railway Board had conveyed to them vide their letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003, as under: 

Railway Board has also taken a decision to procure all freight wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation. It is proposed that all newly built wagons suitable for 100 kmph operation shall be fitted with twin pipe brake system. The advantages of providing twin pipe brake system are as under: -

(i)    Provision of twin pipe will result into improved application and release of brakes.

(ii)  Due to improved release timings of twin pipe, it would be easier for driver to control the train.

(iii)  Due to improved release and application timings, drag on the train will be reduced resulting into better fuel economy/reduced drag would also mean reduced shuttling action and in turn reduced longitudinal forces on coupler and draft gear system.

In view of above, Board is requested to issue suitable instruction.

6.   Thus the most obvious advantage of twin pipe air brake system is that it hastens the release of brakes and thereby protects the rolling stock from developing flats in the wheels and prevents damage to the rails. Therefore, it was felt that the railways should go for better system at higher speeds so that overall reliability of the assets is improved. No doubt, twin pipe system is costly compared to the single pipe system and may require more efforts in maintenance also, yet for assets reliability and consequent repercussions on safety of traveling public, the cost has to be incurred and better maintenance standards have to be adopted. This is precisely the reason why the railway is continuing with the twin pipe air brake system for the passenger coaches.

7.    The Commission has, therefore, serious reservation on the major shift in the position now taken by the Railway Board to continue with the single pipe air brake system from their earlier decision of procuring/manufacturing of high-speed freight stock equipped with twin pipe air brake system. As more and more high-speed freight trains will be introduced on Indian Railway system in time to come, it is in the overall interest of safety and reliability of assets that the Indian Railways should have gone for freight trains fitted with twin pipe air brake system.

8.  Railway Board is once again advised to reconsider the whole issue seriously in the interest of safe train operation.RDSO further designed other varieties of high speed freight stock namely BOXNHA, BOXNHS, BCNAHS etc. with a view to run them at a maximum speed of 100 kmph. Their running on Indian Railways was also sanctioned with the condition of equipping them with twin pipe air brake system. While giving sanction for the running of bogie covered wagon type BCNA-HS over Northern Railway, as late as on 18.11.2003, Railway Board directed the Executive Director/(Wagon), RDSO for taking necessary action on the mass manufacture of these wagons with twin pipe air brake system to facilitate quick release of brakes, to avoid brake binding and consequent damage to track. Before this, RDSO vide letter No.MW/APB/TP/M dated 27.02.2003 addressed to Railway Board, had also listed the advantages of twin pipe air brake system over the single pipe one and advocated going in for twin pipe air brake system for freight stock.

Comments of the Ministry of Railways:

1. The Board on the basis of detailed study carried out by RDSO in the year 1992, examined the issue of twin pipe air brake system. After considering all related factors, RDSO and zonal Railways were advised to discontinue twin pipe air brake system.

2.  On getting suggestion from the Commission to equip all future high-speed freight stock with twin pipe air brake system to hasten release of brakes, the matter has again been examined by the Board. 

3. Advantage of twin pipe system over single pipe system in respect of release time, is relevant for heavy haul freight train operation.

4.    Since the issue of the last instructions in the year 1992, there is no significant change in the pattern of freight train operation. The only change is introduction of high-speed freight train with maximum speed potential of 100 kmph, which is not relevant to twin pipe system. Introduction of twin pipe system will require major investments and has implication on train operation due to need for keeping existing single pipe stock and proposed twin pipe stock separately. And, since requirement of less release timing is not dependent on the maximum speed of the freight trains, it will not be justified to incur the expenditure (release time tome into play when the speed has come down considerably).

5.   In view of the above, it has not been considered necessary to re-introduce the twin pipe system in place of single pipe system, for new or existing stock even for 100 kmph operation.

Further views of the Commission:

Commission does not subscribe to the views of Ministry of Railways, when the passenger as well as freight trains are running on the same system.

Safety Precautions and warnings to the passengers against the danger of projecting their body out of the doors/windows of Non Ac Coaches.

(New Item)

1.    In second-class coaches, passengers traveling on footboards and projecting their body parts through the doors/windows is a common sight. It has been seen that in a level crossing accident, where the road vehicle grazes against the train coaches or in an accident where the trucks and other construction machinery working by the side of the track hit the train, the train passengers who are either sitting in the doorway/standing on a footboard of a coach or are projecting their body parts through the windows of the coach, get hurt and suffer grievous injuries and sometimes get killed. In the case of EMUs running in suburban sections, the passengers hanging outside the doors get hit by the fixed structures existing along the track. Many such accidents have been made to guard against such incidents.

2.   It is a recognized practice to warn the people repeatedly against many known dangers in life through advertisements, audio-visual & print media, distribution of cassettes to be played in public places, announcements etc. The railways are also advertising the dangers of roof riding and careless crossing of the unmanned level crossings by road vehicles etc. Railway Board vide O.M. No.2002/Safety(A&R)/1/30 dated 03.08.2004 has also accepted the recommendation of CRS, Central Circle to provide stickers near the doors of the compartments of the EMU coaches warning the commuters not to hang outside and has desired that safety notice containing attractive design and catchy safety slogans should be displayed for wider publicity at stations and inside the coach as well as outside the doors on both sides. Similarly, in the case of derailment of 2301 Up Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express train which occurred on 09.09.2002, Railway Board vide its O.M. No.2002/Safety(A&R)/1/26 dated 05.12.2002 had agreed that safety precautions for passengers traveling in coaches would be prominently displayed in the coaches.

3.  As the grievous injuries to the passengers in the case of level crossing accidents and accidents at doubling/conversion sites were repeatedly occurring, the Commission in its inquiry report of side dashing of a truck with 4ABP passenger train at unmanned level crossing no.C-31 on 23.10.2001 in Pathankot-Amritsar section of Northern Railway had recommended the following:

(i)   Stickers/steel plates be fixed in all non-AC coaches, warning the passengers regarding the danger of projecting their body parts out through the doors and windows of the coaches, similar to what is pained inside the road buses.

(ii)  Additional horizontal iron bars or suitable number of vertical bars may be provided in the coach windows in order to reduce the gap considerably.

However, Railway Board vide their O.M. 2001/Safety(A&R)/1/23 dated 17.06.2003 did not find these recommendations feasible for acceptance though no reasons for non-acceptance were given.

4.   As the Commission considered the above recommendations effective, simple to implement and inexpensive, these were reiterated in yet another manned level crossing accident, which occurred on Lucknow Division on 03.05.2003 for reconsideration of the Railway Board. However, Railway Board vide their O.M. 2003/Safety(A&R)/1/19 dated 05.07.2004 again did not find them feasible for acceptance. This time, the Railway Board has given a long justification for non-acceptance of the recommendations, on the grounds other than safety, which are briefly as under: -

(i)    Displaying additional notice in all the non-AC second Class coaches of passengers for not keeping any parts of their bodies projecting outside the windows or doors appears to be preventive measures and in practice will result in very little benefit but an unnecessary constraint to reduce the pleasure during travel. It is important to note that instinctively the passengers will withdraw their limbs far inside the coaches in case of any possibility of injury.

(ii)    With the present provision of horizontal window bars, the passengers are able to purchase magazines, papers, eatables, even water bottles etc. while sitting in the compartment. Additional vertical bars will take away most of the conveniences particularly for women, children and elderly passengers. Such additional bars will still not prevent injury to passengers sitting close to windows if a roadside vehicle collides with the train. The additional vertical bars besides increasing the weight of the coaches will adversely affect the aesthetics and the pleasure of free viewing of nature. Considering its contribution to safety and the adverse effect on the traveling pleasure, suggested provision of additional vertical window bars is not considered worthwhile 

5.  From the above, it appears that the Railway Board has given overriding priority to unobstructed viewing of nature from the train and purchase of certain items at the station through the coach window rather than the safety of the traveling public. It is also not clear whether the decision taken to provide stickers with catchy safety slogans on EMUs in suburban sections and to prominently display the safety precautions for passengers in the coaches as brought out in para 2 supra, now stands superseded by these remarks of the Railway Board.

6.   Safety of traveling public is paramount. It is, therefore, felt that Railway Board should come out clearly about the precautionary measures proposed to be taken by the Railways to dissuade the passengers of the non-AC second-class coaches from projecting their body parts out of the doors and windows of such coaches and saving them from injuries in such accidents.

Comments of the Ministry of Railways:

RDSO have circulated Unified Notices for fire prevention and safety to be displayed on the coaches which include warning for the passengers against projecting their body parts out of the doors/windows of non-AC coaches.

Horizontal bars are provided in the windows of EMUs plying over suburban sections. Central & Western Railways have already been advised vide Boards letter No.98/Elec.(G)/113/11/EMU dated 10.06.2004 to display catchy slogans (in English, Hindi & regional languages) at stations and inside the EMU coach as well as outside the doors on both side for its wider publicity to comply with the recommendation of CRS/Central Circle. This recommendation of CRS/Central Circle is under implementation in both the Railways.

Necessary instructions regarding announcement in suburban areas have been issued to all Zonal Railways vide Railway Board letter No.2004/TG-V/2/Safety recommendation dated 19.01.2005.

Further views of the Commission:

No further comments.

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