World Bank asks Railways to paint Trains yellow, ensure high-visibility clothing for employees

NEW DELHI: Paint the trains yellow, have a fire extinguisher on every train, ensure high-visibility clothing for employees and provide four-hour weekly maintenance blocks on all main lines, these are some of the suggestions a World Bank report has made to the railways to ensure safety.

The report, titled ‘Strengthening Safety on Indian Railways’ was submitted to the railways earlier this week.

The report suggests that as an immediate goal, the railways should install “ditch lights” — safety feature in the front of the train to make them more visible — on trains and paint them bright yellow to improve visibility, especially during twilight hours.

It also asks the railways to add side markings to equipment to prevent level-crossing collisions.

“Take fire prevention measures and add fire extinguishers in every train. Choose high-visibility clothing for employees that can be worn all year round and ensure that it is worn at all times. Ensure that footwear and helmets chosen by employees with their allowance is appropriate for their activities,” the report said.

The report has also recommended that level crossings and paths should be painted with a cross-hatched pattern to highlight the dangers of being in the area.

In April, railway minister Suresh Prabhu had approached the World Bank for a study on the issue of safety. He had also consulted various international agencies for suggesting safety measures keeping in view the increasing load on railway infrastructure and subsequent safety issues.

The report has listed a slew of technical actions that the railways can consider over the next two years.

“Training the current investigators in the root-cause analysis of accidents, periodical review of timetables such that a maintenance block of four hours is provided weekly on all main lines, review safety performance in terminal operations with the intent to identify prevailing risks,” the report said.

It also asked the railways to establish an emergency response plan to address derailments, fires, or any other eventuality.

The report has also suggested three broad parameters to improve safety by following international standards.

It has asked the railways to create an independent rail safety regulator, to strengthen the powers of Commissioner of Railway Safety and to form a safety management system under the chairman of the Railway Board.