Central Railway commissions escalator at Nagpur station

NAGPUR: Nagpur railway station took a step forward when Central Railway commissioned an escalator on the western side on Friday. Escalators, a common feature now in city’s shopping malls, still represent a leap of sorts given the generally slow pace of modernization of railways.

This can be gauged from the fact that even though Railway Board had sanctioned escalators at 50 stations in July 2009, Nagpur is still among the first four-five stations to get them.  Raipur, Vijaywada and Secunderabad got it before Nagpur. The tendering process started on December 20, 2011 and Nagpur division received technical sanction in October 2012.

“We were supplied material on February 20, 2013. In three months we are ready with the escalator. So this cannot be called a delay,” DRM Mr.Brijesh Dixit told RailNews. Additional DRM Uday Borwankar, Sr.DCM Dr Sumant Deulkar and Sr.DEE Satyendra Shukla were present. “Commissioning of escalator is an important and historic achievement for Nagpur division, specially when passengers are demanding modern amenities,” said Borwankar.

The escalator is located near RPF police post where once parcel office was. An entry and exit point has also been created there to benefit passengers. This is the second phase in which escalators are being installed. The first phase was marred by problems like dust, rats damaging wires, power problems leaving escalators virtually defunct.

“Successful handling of escalators at busy station like Nagpur is going to be a challenge. We have learnt from the past mistakes,” said Dixit. He added the railways had drawn up a safety plan by posting railway police personnel near the spot and installing dos and don’ts. Pamphlets will also be distributed to passengers.

Dixit informed that a second escalator is expected to be commissioned by August 15 at the eastern side. In all, four escalators have been sanctioned for Nagpur. In the next two years, two more escalators will be installed at Itarsi end while remaining two will be set up near platforms. Work to install two lifts will start soon at Sevagram station.

“Many patients come to Sevagram and lifts will be very useful,” said Dixit.

“The Nagpur Central Railway has turned a new leaf in passenger amenities. The escalator will specially benefit senior citizens and handicapped persons,” said Anil Rewatkar, a Narkhed-bound passenger who was in a hurry to board the train and chose to use the escalator.

Another Feather in Cap
* The cost of escalator is Rs50 lakh
* Its vertical height is 5.8 metres and width 1 metre
* There are 38 steps that can carry total 100 passengers per minute at a speed of 0.5 metre per second
* The distance from ground level to footover bridge can be covered in 12 seconds
* The escalator can be used for ascending as well as descending
* It will run from 6am to 10pm. At other times, it will be shut due to low traffic
* In case of emergency, one can press red button to stop it

DOS AND DON’TS
* Hold handrails while ascending or descending
* Keep your feet away from edges and within yellow lines
* Hold children & elderly people firmly
* Face the direction of travel
* Move away from escalator after reaching destination
* Do not use with bare feet
* Wheelchair and heavy baggage not permitted
* Running on the steps is dangerous
* Avoid wearing lose garments and lose laces
* Do not spill water or put any foreign objects in escalator

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