Northeast Frontier Railway has put in place a huge force of man and materials to tackle any eventuality during the oncoming Monsoon season. The mobilization was carried out in the last few months over the entire jurisdiction of N F Railway having more than 6400 km of railway tracks spread over the entire Northeast, West Bengal and Bihar.
Monsoon season is challenging for N. F. Railway as the railway lines are spread over wide range of terrain consisting alluvial plains and mountainous regions which are not very stable. To make things more difficult, South-west Monsoon brings 90% of the annual rainfall (varying from 2000 to 5000 mm) to the region during April to late October every year. The challenges come in the form of landslides, breaching of embankments, washout of bridges etc. A detailed strategy is adopted to ensure that the tracks are protected and kept in good condition so that safety of passengers is not compromised.
While pre-monsoon preparedness like stacking of materials as Monsoon Reserve, cleaning of drainage, ensuring marking of danger levels in bridges have been completed, 813 parties of patrolmen (each consisting of two persons) have been deployed to secure the track round the clock since yesterday. The patrolling will continue till 15th October or further as rains / weather forecast warrants.
Monitoring: These patrolmen are equipped with latest state-of-the-art equipment like GPS tracker, luminous jacket, raincoat and separate water-proof trouser, safety helmet with attachable miners light, safety shoes etc. During night time, the entire track is patrolled twice from 08 pm to 11:30 pm and again from 12:30 am to 04 am. Every patrol party is provided one walky-talky and mobile phone to communicate with nearest station in the eventuality of any condition posing danger for train movement. They also carry Fog Detonators to alert train driver that leaves any station before being alerted. These patrolmen are monitored by five divisional control offices with the help of GPS tracker.
In addition to these patrolmen, stationary watchmen are also deployed in vulnerable locations like area susceptible to landslide, bridges where water level is nearing danger level etc. Currently 13 such stationary watchmen are deployed in vulnerable location of Lumding Division. Additional Materials: Despite precautions, there are occasion when bridges are washed out, embankments are breached and landslides occur. To face such situation and to carry out restoration within minimum possible time, Monsoon Reserved stocks of materials like boulders, sand, sandbags, various pre-fabricated components of bridges etc. are kept loaded in wagons as kept at strategic locations. 235 such wagons have already been and placed at 27 locations spread over the entire zone ready for movement at any time. Additional reserve materials are also stocked at 162 more locations.