Southern Railway will provide LED signals at level crossing gates and yards to ensure better visibility in all mainline signals and prevent mishaps, Southern Railway General Manager Deepak Krishan said on Thursday.

Addressing the 57 Railway Week Celebrations of Southern Railway, Mr. Krishan said LED installations had been completed at 296 stations so far, of which 90 LED signals were provided in 2011-12.

Southern Railway, conferred the national-level shield for safety-related works and train punctuality, also expects to shortly complete the installation of the Integrated Security System at 14 select stations, including Chennai Central. The integrated system was expected to bring about improvements in passenger safety and security through state-of-the-art surveillance, he said.

According to Mr. Krishan, while the tragedy at Arakkonam, where ten lives were lost when an EMU rammed a stationary train, was most unfortunate, what equally raises concern was the loss of lives and injuries due to negligence of road users, especially while crossing unmanned level crossings. Of the seven consequential accidents last year, four occurred at unmanned level crossings, he said.

Apart from awareness campaigns that involved sending 85 lakh SMSes, issue of pamphlets and screening of short films at railway terminals, the Railways is phasing out unmanned level crossings from the system, he said. In addition to the closure of 78 unmanned level crossings by providing alternate limited height subways or diversion of road, 37 such crossings had been upgraded to manned crossings.

So far, the achievement of eliminating 115 of the 1,127 unmanned level crossings was a record and had earned a shield from the Railway Board, he said.

Mr. Krishan said the punctuality of performance had improved to 93.8 per cent last fiscal and number of mail/express trains losing punctuality reduced by 12 per cent inspite of running 8,127 additional mail and express trains during 2011-12.

Southern Railway netted earnings of Rs. 5,568 crore during the fiscal 2011-12 that included Rs. 2,560 crore from passenger traffic, marking an increase by Rs. 242 crore over the previous year. This year was also special for the sundry earnings with the all-time high accrual of Rs. 512 crore through licensing of land to Chennai Metro, he said.

The operating ratio has touched an all-time low of 119.87, the best-ever performance after the VI Pay Commission recommendations were implemented, Mr. Krishan said.

As many as 219 individual awards and 18 group awards were distributed at the function. .K Prasad, Chief Personnel Officer, Southern Railway and G. Narayanan, Additional General Manager, Southern Railway, Principal Heads of Southern Railway and other officials participated.

Earlier, addressing the celebrations organised by the Chennai Railway Division, DRM S. Anantharaman said the division had netted a record earnings of Rs. 2487 crore, which was an increase by 26 per cent over the previous year. The punctuality performance of 93.6 per cent was also higher than the 81 per cent in 2009-10, he said.

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