30-point programme thrashed out to improve safety of trains, people

Rudely shocked by the sudden spate in the number incidents of fire in moving trains that have claimed more than 35 lives so far this year, the Railways have drawn up a blueprint to prevent a recurrence of such tragedies.
At the directive of Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar convened a high-level meeting here which thrashed out a 30-point programme to improve the safety of trains and passengers.
The thrust is as much on the design of the coaches as on the materials used to not only prevent the occurrence of fire but also its spread.
Emergency path
As in aircrafts, the emergency path will be lit with glow stickers and attendants will demonstrate safety precautions to the passengers.
It was decided to switch over to LED lights for the coaches and develop a system that will let smoke out of the coaches to prevent deaths due to asphyxiation. It was also decided to complete the trial of the smoke and fire detection system on the Jammu Rajdhani by January end. Hooters will be first provided in the locos, pantry cars and brake vans before being installed in the coaches.
Hammers will be provided to break open the glass near the emergency window and the charging points for mobiles and laptops will now come with a one-ampere fuse, so that they blow off in case any heating appliance is plugged in.
Wooden berths meant for attendants will be done away with as they blocked the escape route.
Similarly, the compartment doors in AC coaches will now swing both ways.
The rubber in the outer doors will now melt in case of fire to prevent jamming of doors in an emergency situation.
The Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) has been directed to study international norms for inflammability and toxicity of material used for seats and furnishings, and to decide the use of fire retardant material available internationally.
It has also been instructed to develop and use fire-retardant paints for coach interiors.
Gadgets will be developed to check consignments and a system for stubbing beedis and cigarette in second-class general coaches.