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Railways learns from mistakes

Syed Muthahar Saqaf
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know your way: A direction indicator placed at the subway at Tiruchi Junction. Photo:R. Ashok
know your way: A direction indicator placed at the subway at Tiruchi Junction. Photo:R. Ashok

The Tiruchiites would not have forgotten the tragic incident in which a passenger, Fakhruddin of K. K. Nagar in the city, was killed when he fell from the moving train on platform number 5 in Tiruchi Junction on March 24.

The victim had boarded a train, which he realised was not the train he should have boarded, when it started moving in the wrong direction.

The poor man was blinded on seeing two trains stationed on the same platform and chose the wrong train. In his anxiety he jumped from the running train, fell on the track and was killed.

Various consumer and rail-user organisations and representatives of different sections of the society raised their voice and blamed the railways for the incident. They found fault with the railways for drawing two trains leaving in the opposite direction at the same time on one platform.

The incident shocked the authorities of the Tiruchi Railway division. On the direction of P.V.Vaidialingam, Divisional Railway Manager, steps were taken instantly to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies. Two flex boards have been displayed prominently in the sub-way leading to the platform where the two trains have been drawn. The boards direct the travelling public to the respective trains – Rameswaram passenger and Nagore passenger.

Two more boards are displayed at the platform directing the people to their respective trains.

The presence of the trains is repeatedly announced through the public address system to alert the people. These initiatives have proved effective and have been widely welcomed by the people, says a senior railway official.

But the people continue to find fault with the railways for the halting of two trains leaving at the same time on the same platform. “The authorities should work out some alternative arrangements or else should change the departure time of one of the trains,” says M.A..Shaikh Abdullah, a consumer activist, who travels to Rameswaram frequently by the Tiruchi – Rameswaram passenger.

The works on these two platforms are progressing at a fast pace and the mandatory inspection by the Commissioner of Railway Safety is expected in the next few months, railway sources said. The new look platforms, in all probability, will be ready by October, the sources added.

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