Track patrolling at night Credit: NFR

Guwahati: With the onset of winters, railway track tends to contract during the night and expand during day time, making it a safety hazard. Keeping this in mind, Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has already put in place various actions to be taken for ensuring safety.

To nip the issue in its bud, vigorous patrolling is being done throughout the track length of NFR to detect fracture in the fracture prone locations. Also, as such contracting happens during night or early morning hours, effective patrolling during these hours is being carried out.

Moreover, rail joints and welds are being monitored regularly to find out any discrepancy.

NFR is analysing data of maximum and minimum temperature from the last five years of the defect prone areas to find out the ‘Mean Rail Temperature’ to check the possibility of rail fracture owing to temperature variation.

“Distressing of the sections having LWR (Long Welded Rails) is also being done. SEJ joints are being monitored at a time when the temperature is in the lower side to find out any change in behaviours. Ultrasonic Fault Detection (USFD) device is also being used to detect defect or fracture which are not normally visible to the naked eye,” said NFR in a release.

The trackmen, patrolmen and keyman are being counselled and trained to detect and to take proactive measures. Necessary equipment has also been provided to field staff for winter patrolling duty including a rechargeable torch, fog signal, two tri-colour hand signal lamps, two red flags and one green flag, gum boots, protective clothing and safety jackets etc. Sometimes they are provided with a GPS tracking device.

Keeping in mind low visibility during winters, various indication boards throughout the sections and lifting barriers gates are repainted or provided with luminous indication strips for proper visibility.

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