indian railway suresh prabhu indian railways passengers traffic station
Good roads and low airfares are affecting passenger traffic growth at Indian Railways, Suresh Prabhu told a website. In Picture: A woman holds an umbrella while waiting to board a train during a heavy rain shower at a railway station in Kolkata Sep. 20, 2014 (repreentational image).Reuters file

The monsoon season is upon us, and travelling during this time is a figurative pain in the neck and a real pain in several other parts of the body. And this is even more so when travelling by train. 

It is in light of these travails that the Railways has taken several steps to make train travel smoother for passengers during the monsoon season, when the spectre of tracks being flooded or washed away, blocked or other exigencies are a common occurrence. 

According to a statement by the Railway Ministry, here are the steps it has taken for smoother functioning:

  • It is inspecting works that affect Railway functioning — like construction of canals, tanks and reservoirs — jointly with state government officials, and pointing out deficiencies in them, if any.
  • Railways is also Identifying vulnerable locations on the basis of previous records and pre-monsoon inspections. Watchmen and patrolment have been deputed at such vulnerable locations.
  • Zonal Railways have also issued detailed guidelines for monsoon patrolling and on how to monitor the vulnerable locations.
  • Railways has also arranged for adequate monsoon reserves — such as boulders, sand or quarry dust, relieving girders and wire net trungers — at the vulnerable locations, besides keeping some of it in wagons that can reach such sites early in case of breaches or washouts.
  • Railway officials have been instructed to organise patrolling in cases of "abnormal" rainfall or storm.
  • The Railways has also arranged for regular updates from the local Met department on inclement weather.
  • Local authorities are also expected to inform the Railways when excess water from reservoirs or dams is released.
  • The Railways is also cleaning catch-water and side drains regularly so storm water flows freely and drains fast.
  • It is also eliminating loose boulders in hilly areas, where such rocks can cause great damage when falling.
  • Railway officials will also inspect sections during periods of heavy rain.