The winter season is at its peak and subsequently, it has affected rail, road and air traffic in North India. In Delhi as per reports by ANI, 49 trains have been arriving late, 23 are rescheduled and 24 are cancelled due to low visibility and operational issues. Earlier on Wednesday, Foggy conditions affected railway services in the northern region with 65 trains getting delayed, cancelled or rescheduled. According to the Northern Railways Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Nitin Chowdhary, at least 22 trains have been cancelled, 40 trains were running late and three have been rescheduled owing to poor visibility due to the fog.
Every year in winter season lakhs of passengers face problem in commuting through railways. To counter fog and low visibility, a new GPS-based system has been installed in all the locomotives of Northeast Frontier Railway to alert loco pilots about approaching signals and help in the timely running of trains during heavy fog. The equipment called FogPASS (Fog Pilot Assistance system for Safety), consisting of an inbuilt battery and GPS antenna with magnetic base, has been installed in all the locomotives in NF Railway, Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said. As the train moves, the new equipment will display on the LCD screen, a short description and the remaining distance of the next two landmarks in geographical order. The landmarks include signals of various types and level crossing gates, he said. When a train approaches a station, the device will flash the distance left for the home signal of that station. Even if the pilot is unable to physically see the signal, he would be aware of how far the train is from the signal and act accordingly.
A recent report By PTI shows a surprising data, which revealed that four out of ten trains in the country are being delayed not because of fog, vagaries of nature or accidents, but because of railways’ large-scale repair work. While during that period in 2017, 1,09,704 trains were delayed, in 2016, the number was less by 16,092 trains. While 5 percent of these trains were delayed due to accidents, including those in which cattle were run over, 20 percent was due to asset failure and 40 percent due to repair work. The rest has been attributed to inclement weather conditions. Officials say that given that safety is the top priority for railways in the coming year, passengers have to bear the brunt on account of repair and maintenance work.