ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan Railways adopted adequate measures for safety of passengers which drastically decreased the accident ratio by 188 percent during the year 2017 as compared to the previous year.
“In 2017, as many as 50 accidents occurred over the railway network across the country as compared to 144 minor and major accidents took place in 2016,” a senior official of Pakistan Railways told the state-run news agency on Monday.
While giving details, he said one accident was occurred due to collision of goods train, 28 due to derailment of passenger trains, four because of collision at manned level crossings and 17 at un-manned level crossings.
The official said that Pakistan Railways has taken several measures to prevent accidents which greatly helped in reducing the number of accidents as compared to previous years.
About steps to control accidents, he said the department upgraded unmanned level crossings throughout the country in collaboration with the respective provincial governments.
“So far the Punjab government has expeditiously undertaken the up-gradation of vulnerable railway crossings and efforts are underway with the remaining provincial governments for immediate allocation of funds for the purpose,” he said.
The official said that the Punjab government has earmarked an amount of Rs 610.275 million for up-gradation of 75 vulnerable level crossings of which 50 have so for been upgraded.
The Sindh government has provided Rs 87 million for upgradation of 15 most vulnerable level crossings which is under tendering process, he added.
The Pakistan Railways official said that the Directorate of Public Relations has produced video messages for circulation over social media to inform the public about the dangers associated with railway crossings, especially those which are unmanned.
The official said that conversion of old age kerosene oil based signals with LED’s on main line, which have better visibility. Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system has been installed on 42 locomotives and efforts are underway to install the same facility the remaining locomotives. This can minimize such accidents/incidents as this system applies brake automatically if the driver of a train fails to respond to a red signal.
“Introduction of new custom built railway crossing mechanisms are being developed which will definitely decrease the number of accident occurred on level crossing gates. The system will be replicated elsewhere after successful trails,” he said.
The senior official said that training and refresher courses are conducted regularly at the Pakistan Railway Academy, Walton and special attention is being given to the training of the locomotive crews, guards, station masters and other staff concerned with train operations.