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Automatic Smoke detection and Fire suppression system

NFR has taken many innovative initiatives to further enhance the safety of passenger carrying
trains. In recent years there were some incidents when fire broke out from either Pantry car or
generator car of passenger trains causing damages. Such fire has the potential of causing loss of
human life if not noticed and extinguished timely.
In N. F. Railway there are 180 Power Cars and Pantry cars. These Power Cars and Pantry
cars of the modern LHB rakes have a potential risk of fire in running trains due to their inherent use.
Generator cars carry high quantity of diesel oil which has fire hazards associated with it. So a need
was felt to control fire in case it breaks out. If fire breaks out in Power car/Pantry Car due to any
reason, there must be a system to control it immediately with suitable smoke/fire detection and
suppression system.
Automatic fire detection and suppression systems are being installed in the power cars and
pantry cars to address the issue of any fire hazard and provide enhanced safety to passengers.
This system is designed for early detection of smoke and fire and is capable of detecting all
size of smoke particles, thus protecting entire passenger area, electrical panels, lavatory, doorway
and gangway area including kitchen , generator rooms ( in case of power cars) etc. Upon detection
of fire, the system suppresses the fire by ensuring automatic spraying of foam type mixture. The
system is self diagnostic in nature for any fault within the system like wiring failure etc.
In N.F. Railway, out of total 180 power cars and pantry cars, 125 nos. have already been
fitted with Smoke detection and fire suppression system.
Moreover, in electrical systems of passenger coaches, high resistance or excessive current
flow is the main cause of heating and is associated with several safety related troubles and
sometime fire also. Thermal Imager camera allows us to see these invisible thermal signatures of
impending damage before the damage actually occurs. Thermal imager camera is effective in
detecting the following faults/defects:
1. Overheating of the cable/equipment due to single phasing or loose connection.
2. Overheating of the equipment due to over load.
3. Overheating of motors winding due to over load or due to faulty bearings.
4. Loose socketing of the cables or improper insulation can be also detected which also produce
overheat in the electric circuit/panel.
Thermal Imager Cameras have been introduced in all workshops of NFR for scrutiny of all
passenger carrying coaches for enhancing the safety standard during train operation.

(Subhanan Chanda)
CPRO/N.F. Railway

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