Saturday, June 24, 2017

To

Sri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu,

Hon’ble Railway Minister,

Rail Bhavan,  New Delhi


Sir,

                               Sub: Introduction of CCTV Cameras inside the Locomotive  Driving Cabs


While AILRSA, South Western Railway welcome this proposal whole heartedly, we expect upgrading cab interior, cab ergonomics which are in a miserable state in most of the locos. Many promises, assurances from erstwhile Railway Ministers regarding this are yet to see the light of day.

Following are a few of the primary issues needing immediate attention and requisite changes to be done in Diesel Locomotives on a war footing.

1) Windshield Wipers: Many of the existing wiper blades do not make complete contact with the windshield glass and is of no use during rain. Some of the wiper rubber material seems to be of inferior quality such that the rubber disintegrates forming black lines, patches on the glass affecting visibility. In WDP4 Long Hood leading most of the wipers did not rest at the ends of the side when the wiper is not working, and instead stuck up in the centre of the glass affecting clear visibility of road and signals. Loco Pilots also observed that many of the wipers of WDP4B (cab leading), WDP4D locos the wiper blades were not at all wiping the area on glass which is exactly in straight view of the LP while seated.

2) Cab to be Insulated: Partition to be provided between Engine Room and Generator room, and loco cab compartments to be properly insulated to minimize excess heat, loud noise and suffocating smell of hot fumes from fuel(diesel) entering into the cab.

3) Cab Floor to be sealed: The floor of the locomotive cabin to be properly sealed, leaving no gaps to prevent dust from tracks (consisting of human excreta, particles of dead animals) entering driving cabs when the train is on run which will cause respiratory infection to the crew.

4)Air Conditioned Cab: Most of the Diesel locos in service are High Horse Power locos, and in these locos the diesel engine, traction motors radiates enormous heat waves which can be felt inside the cab. Thus it can be clearly observed that the temperature inside the cab is about 4 - 6 degrees more than the ambient temperature. WDP4/G4 locos are designed so that the cab is AC( i.e. cab is air sealed to prevent loss of cool air and effective maintenance of cool temperature). So without Cab AC there is no air circulation inside the cab even though the ambient temperature is cool and hence it is hot and miserable for the cabin crew). Longer working hours and with few halts the crew have to bear the brunt of the high temperature. All locos must be provided with Cab fans and AC to reduce the fatigue of crew. 

Electric locos WAP7 and WAG9 locos also are designed and manufactured for cab AC, i.e. the cab is fully air tight/sealed to prevent leakage of cool air for effective maintenance of cool temperature. But since the AC equipment are taken away by concerned shed there is no air circulation inside the cab making working miserable for the helpless crew. Our country located in the tropical zone, most part of the year is hot weather, and hence Cab AC has become a necessity for controlling fatigue of the crew.

5) High level of Noise Pollution: In High Horse Power locos like WDP4, WDG4, a lot of noise is generated from the engine which can be heard right inside the cab also. Engine and horn noise is far above the 80 decibel limit for 8 hours which is injurious to the ears and also induces stress and hypertension in the crew, even in the latest fleet of Dual Cab diesel locos especially in cab2 (radiator) leading. In addition to this is the deafening noise of the loco horns. All WDP4/G4 locos should be provided with an additional cutout cock like KJM shed locos to control the cab end horn noise. At least the Long Hood end horns of all locos must be fixed above the Radiator room. So the cab has to be insulated from the noise of engine, horns by taking care of the cab door, window shutter glasses beadings, and compartments in cab also need to be tightly locked. These type of measures will protect the crew from hearing loss.

6. Health Hazard: In WDP 4 locomotives long hood leading, the visibility is very poor with only one rail of the track visible to the crew. If the crew wants better view (both the rails ahead) they have to bend the upper portion of their body from the waist towards the window side which is painful and cause long term pain in the waist. Another hardship faced by the crew in Long hood leading WDP4/G4 locos is that they are forced to inhale the obnoxious smelling exhaust smoke entering the driving cab which is causes head ache, early fatigue and respiratory problems which is a threat for maintaining A1 fitness. 

(Ref: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Noise-pollution-can-put-you-on-the-risk-of-sleep-deprivation-and-hypertension/articleshow/52899115.cms)

In the long hood working of WDM 3A loco also the crew is forced to inhale engine exhaust smoke, hot diesel smell fumes (whenever notch in idle), which is a hindrance to breathe oxygen. The railway administration is not willing to run the locomotives always in short hood direction to prevent breathing and visibility problems. Hence we demand the driving cab should be Air Conditioned, so that crew can work with windows closed avoiding breathing exhaust smoke, excess heat and dust. Even the road transport ministry has issued orders to manufacture trucks with AC cabs to reduce fatigue of drivers to minimize accidents but railways are only proclaiming AC but least bothered in implementing.

(Ref: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/New-trucks-to-have-AC-chambers-from-April-2017/articleshow/55903351.cms)

It is seen that the cab AC equipment of new locomotives are taken away from base sheds owning these locos which is very unfortunate. Presently there is a rule that no loco shall leave shed without flasher lights working and similarly railway board should bring the cab AC on par with flasher lights as essential equipment and give instructions that all the loco shall leave sheds with cab AC working.

7) Cab seats: Crew has to work for long hours 8 hours Mail/Exp, 12 hours or even longer for Goods. So the Seat structure plays a vital role for comfort of the crew. Many of the seats are unfit for use, they are too low, and many of these seats their base seating surface is not even and instead slanting towards the front, while others are not fixed rigidly on its centre axis. Long Hood leading WDP4/G4 locos LP/ALP seat is fixed far away from the window side and hence poor visibility of road and signals. New types of rigidly fixed seats are seen in most of the locos. Hence we demand the original company designed flexible type of seat be reintroduced, in which height and position of the seat (seat can be slides towards window side and fixed at the required spot) for better visibility of road and signals in long hood leading WDP4/G4 locos.

8) General cleanliness of locos: Most of the loco sheds except a few (like KJM shed) turn out the locos for service without even washing the loco. The engine room, Compressor room, radiator room are spread with waste oil on the floor and even on the passage outside which might result in injury to crew by slipping. These make it difficult for the crew to identify oil leakages. 

PA shed locos especially WDM3A, WDG3, WDM3D are classic examples of poorly maintained locos. Most of these locos are dirty with oil spread all around the engine, compressor, and radiator. Cab interior also is dirty with exhaust smoke carbon deposits. Even the windshield glass (lookout glass) is not spared with traces of oil from crankcase exhaust resulting in worst visibility of road and signals. Every halt crew has to clean the glass for better visibility which is a safety hazard.

9) Speedometers: Analogue speedometers (indicators) are fixed in many locos which does not give a perfect indication of the actual speed. Hence all locos must be fitted with digital speedometers for crew to access the actual speed of the train.

Sir this association humbly requests your good self to direct the Railway Board to implement the above mentioned basic necessities in all the locomotives of Indian Railways before introducing surveillance Camera inside the driving cab which will naturally improve the safety records of the railway. 


Thanking You                                                                                               Yours faithfully



Bengaluru                                                                                                         (Rameshan K)

21.06.2017                                                                                                    General Secretary

Copy to:                                                                                                         AILRSA, SWR 

1. Chairman Railway Board

2. Member Traction, Railway Board

3. RDSO, Lucknow.

4. GM/DLW Varanasi

5. GM/CLW

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