Investments spurring growth of rail network in remote areas: CRB

Allahabad (ALD): Heavy investments by companies involved in sectors like shipping and mining have helped bringing railway connectivity to many remote corners in the country, Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar said here today.

Addressing a news conference, Kumar said the investments were “mainly helping freight as the companies show willingness to bear the cost of transportation of goods to their desired destinations from far-off coal mines, or mines rich in other minerals, and ports. For the passengers, the Railways have to depend on its own resources”.

He, however, cautioned “it would be wrong to think that the Railways’ troubles end because of investments by companies. They might give us the money, but we thereafter need to ensure that land is available and there is proper arrangement for security as it is generally seen that regions rich in minerals are in the throes of ultra-Left insurgency”.

To a query, the Railway Board Chairman said, “We have been conducting successful trial runs of the Train Collision Advance System at Secunderabad. We look forward to start a pilot project in the near future wherein TCAS would be put to test in normal traffic.”

He, however, added that “the earlier version, popularly known as Anti-Collision Device, has been found to be defective and hence shelved”.

About trains being excessively delayed during foggy weather, he said, “Our primary objective always is to ensure safety of the passengers. To achieve this end, we are left with no other choice except to cancel a number of trains and order slowing down of the running ones.

“Normal speed under foggy weather can be achieved through the cab-signalling system which is very expensive and may not be viable in a developing economy like ours and also in view of the vastness of the Indian Railways’ network.