Saving Vande Bharat Express: What Indian Railways is doing to prevent stone pelting incidents on Train 18

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Published: February 26, 2019 4:31:20 PM

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has been roped in by Indian Railways to identify areas where stone-pelting cases usually occur. The RPF, which is entrusted with securing railway property has also been asked to take corrective measures.

train 18The step has been taken, following stone-pelting incidents and cattle being hit, which resulted in damage to the country’s first semi-high speed train.

Vande Bharat Express: In an attempt to protect the newly launched Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express, Indian Railways is counselling locals as well as distributing chocolates among slum kids to persuade them to stop stone-pelting, according to an HT report. The step has been taken, following stone-pelting incidents and cattle being hit, which resulted in damage to the country’s first semi-high speed train. The aerodynamic nose of the train, made of steel with a fibre cover on it was also damaged last Friday and had to be replaced after a bull hit the train from the front.

The next day, after a flying ballast hit the train on its way to the national capital, the driver’s windscreen and windows of some coaches were damaged as well. An official was quoted in the report saying that at present, there is a shortage of glasses and spare parts, although Indian Railways is planning to arrange more such parts for future use. Indian Railways is also planning to install a cattle protection guard on the front portion in the upcoming Train 18 sets, the report said.

Rajesh Aggarwal, member (rolling stock) of the Railway Board was quoted saying that following the recent damage, Indian Railways has already placed order for a dozen of glasses. He also said that it will be ensured that the railways have strengthened glasses in trains. Moreover, considering that Train 18 does not have a locomotive, the front portion will also be strengthened, which used to absorb the damage in case of a cattle run, he said. In this type of case, the impact comes directly to the driver cabin, he added.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has been roped in by Indian Railways to identify areas where stone-pelting cases usually occur. The RPF, which is entrusted with securing railway property has also been asked to take corrective measures, officials said. However, Arun Kumar, RPF Director-General said that they will not take action but instead they will educate locals. The RPF staff had also gone with toys and chocolates to Delhi’s Shakurbasti slums and counselled the kids. Kumar further informed that the RPF also plans to visit some areas in Tundla and Kanpur to counsel the locals.

Manufactured under ‘Make in India’ programme, the engine-less Vande Bharat Express was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month. The train completes a journey between New Delhi and Varanasi in about 8 hours. Meanwhile, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal recently announced that the Vande Bharat Express will soon run on Mangaluru-Chennai, Bengaluru-Mangaluru and Mangaluru-Hyderabad routes.

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