It is no exaggeration that railway tracks have become one of the biggest killers in India. According to latest statistics available, over 50,000 people lost their lives on the deadly tracks in over three years between the period 2009 and 2012. The following is an analytical overview on the safety issues of Indian Railways.

A daily scene on trains in Northern India

A daily scene on trains in Northern India

Indian Railways is one of the largest railway systems in the world and is fully owned and operated by Ministry of Railways, Government of India. It plays a significant role in driving economic growth of the country, offering highly affordable, environment-friendly transportation to passengers and freight, especially bulk commodities, across the country. Indian Railway, like any other transportation system, is technology intensive not only for ensuring high productivity of its assets but also safety in train operations.

The very first statement of India’s new Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu that he would specially focus on safety and customer satisfaction amounts to be a sincere admission is that all is not well with the Indian Railways especially with regard to safety. Yes, one of the world’s biggest railways has to go a long way to be the safest in the world.

Of the total of 131 train accidents that occurred on Indian Railways during 2011-12, at least 115 were due to human failure, including 52 due to the failure of railway staff and 63 due to the failure of Indian Railways is one of the largest railway but those who “lost their lives for trespassing and encroaching around the railway track” according to the railway ministry.

(Subscribe to read the full article in the January issue of Safety Messenger Magazine 2015)

Author: SubEditor

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