MUMBAI: The Track Maintainers of Railways work tirelessly round the clock in all adverse conditions for our safety and we must reciprocate it by ensuring their safety too. These Track Maintainers are the unsung heroes who toil hard and ensure safe journey to our destination. It is high time that we acknowledge and understand their pain & sufferings. Recently, there have been several untoward incidents wherein they have faced a lot of hassles & even injuries. The Mumbai Suburban section is known as the lifeline of Mumbai and Western Railway’s suburban section stretches from Churchgate to Dahanu Road comprising of 37 stations. The maintenance of these tracks is done mostly in the late night hours due to high frequency of train services during day time. Several decades have passed and several advancements have been done in Indian Railways but the manual efforts also play a vital role in inspection and maintenance of track. And this vital role is played by the Track Maintainers who form the very crux of the entire railway network and are the backbone of our railway network.
According to a press release issued by Shri Ravinder Bhakar – Chief Public Relations Officer, W. Rly, the Track maintainers work tirelessly, risking their lives on railway tracks every single day to make sure that trains run smoothly and safely. The track maintainers are a close knit group, comprising of 8 – 10 people, whose key job is maintenance of tracks. The main work of a track maintainer includes daily inspection of tracks, lifting and packing of track, Asset renewal like rail, sleeper, switches, crossing etc., boxing and dressing of ballast, cess repairs and de-weeding of unwanted vegetation and immediate attention to track in case of emergencies like rail fracture / flooding of track in monsoon, etc. They toil day in and day out, sunshine or rain to keep the wheels of railway network moving. However, these Track Maintainers have their own share of problems like facing the extreme climatic conditions, carrying the load of heavy equipment and more distressing are the incidents by unruly passengers travelling in trains, sometimes kick them, hit or even hurl objects at them.
Shri Bhakar stated that in order to address the problems of track maintainers, W. Rly has taken some concrete initiatives such as use of gang warning hooters to alert of approaching train, procurement of light weight spanner, use of LED light for night block, provision of safety shoes, etc. In addition to these, tender for repair and construction of tool cum rest room has also been awarded. Western Railway once again urges all its esteemed commuters to respect the track maintainers and to appreciate their work.