Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Loco train tougher to pilot than a plane: Trivedi

K. Balchand, THE HINDU, 21 November 2011
Sachin, Aamir to spread message of railway safety
Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who is a pilot-turned politician, said here on Monday that a loco train was tougher to pilot than an aeroplane.

Addressing the 56th annual week function of the railways, Mr. Trivedi said he had come to this conclusion after his experience at a railway simulator centre in Chennai.
Driver's limitations
“I didn't know that a train with prescribed carriage and running at a fairly good speed will, after applying brakes, run almost a kilometre before coming to a grinding stop, but people usually blame the loco pilot without understanding his limitations every time there is an accident at a manned or unmanned level crossing,” he said.
“People expect it to stop like cars,” he said, stressing that the drivers were not to blame most of the time. “The need is to spread awareness among the people,” said Mr. Trivedi. He had discussed the issue with cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood star Aamir Khan.
The railways intend to use the services of the two to spread the messages of railway safety to make the general public contribute their bit to avert accidents and fatalities.
Mr. Trivedi pointed out that not one single person had been killed in Japan in railway disasters during the past 47 years even when some of the coaches had turned turtle.
Much like military personnel, railway personnel too make sacrifices, he said, pointing to those who were felicitated for their acts of bravery also. In saving passengers, one railway man sacrificed his life while another lost a lower limb and an upper limb.
“The thrust will be on improving the railway electronic signalling system, as part of the modernisation plan, to not only ensure better and safe running of trains but also speed up and add more trains on the same routes,” he said.


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