The recent Indore-Patna express train derailment near Pukharayan district of Kanpur has left countless shocked and many scarred for life. The accident which is said to be the worst train tragedy in past six years where 14 coaches derailed off tracks has left more than 300 seriously injured and approximately 130 passengers lost their lives. It is speculated that many are still stuck under the debris from the remains of coaches and rescue workers are searching for survivors. These fatal occurrences suggest that a single faulty or fractured track can result in mass destruction.
Such mishaps are leading to divert our focus on the consistently asked question of passenger safety in our railways. Regularly monitoring and timely replacement of old technologies with those of new and suitable ones can help in preventing accidents. Using high-tech devices with anti-collision technology can strengthen the possibility of reducing rail accidents and significantly improve the overall safety of passengers. Signaling systems can be installed at the front of locomotives to avert obstacles which could cause derailment of a train due to any reason. These systems are very useful at night time or during extreme weather conditions. Terrain Imaging for Diesel Drivers as well as Infrared Enhanced Optical and Radar Assisted (Tri-NETRA) systems use infra-red and radar technology to display information of physical obstructions ahead on the tracks for 2-3 km. This can inform the driver in advance so he can take the necessary measures for safety and protection.
Many of us even drive though a leveled crossing every other day where railway lines and roads cross each other’s path. This results in accidents and casualties every day. This directly reflects the need of implementing IT to protect pedestrians and vehicles from colliding with railroad trains.
Besides, the railway needs to invest in strengthening its network. It needs to work out for ways that could trigger an alert if the railway track is tampered or broken. The lives of hundreds of passengers could thus be saved. Advanced technologies such as the Tri-NETRA can predict and prevent mishaps. It would be great if the railways can expedite its efforts to invest in the advanced technologies and avert any accidents.