Drop in chain-pulling incidents on CR

Efforts taken at key stations to curb cases, which hold up train operations

Central Railway’s (CR) measures to bring down the number of cases of chain-pulling seem to be bearing fruit, with the number of cases dropping to 357 between January and April 2019, as against 412 during the same period in 2018.

Chain-pulling cases are a huge hindrance to overall train operations and have been identified as being among the key reasons for delays. The detection of such incidents has also improved, with 180 cases solved in 2019 as against 128 cases in the previous year.

Railway officials said chain-pulling cases spike in summer months due to the volume of people going to their hometowns for holidays. In April, there were 105 cases reported, with 55 being solved. The figures stood at 113 and 36 in April 2018.

To tackle the problem, CR has taken steps such as deploying extra staff around the departure time of trains that report more cases, and adding an extra warning notifying passengers of a train’s imminent departure.

Senior CR officials said the drop has partially been due to measures taken at key stations where long-distance trains halt. Kalyan has been identified one station where trains were routinely held up due to chain-pulling. “We noticed that on an average, trains halt for only three minutes in Kalyan. But during the summer rush, entire families board with luggage, and in some cases a few people get in only to help them load the luggage,” a senior railway official said.

As a way of warning, RPF staff at Kalyan will now blow a whistle a minute before the train is about to depart. CR officials said this will be applicable only for trains that are routinely affected by chain-pulling.

Key trains that CR has identified include the Mumbai-Howrah Gitanjali Express, Vidarbha Express and the Darbhanga-bound Pawan Express. The latter has witnessed seven chain-pulling incidents in April across several stations, largely owing to the summer rush.

Chain-pulling holds up trains at stations over the stipulated time and has a cascading effect on the punctuality of the suburban system. Efforts are also on to prevent chain-pulling incidents mid-section, where railway officials hope that anti-hawking drives will curb the practice.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 6:04:51 AM |

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