No to foot-board travel

S Vishnu Sharma, INN/Chennai, @infodeaofficial

Southern Railway has come out with a message to avoid traveling on the footboard for the commuters. The communication has been made amidst a situation where the prestigious establishment is about to resume fast local trains in the route of Chennai Beach – Tambaram/Chengelpet/Tirumalpur/Kanchipuram from June 1.

It is worth recollecting that fast locals which were common in the popular route were stopped soon after the unfortunate event at St Thomas Mount railway station in which train travelers lost their lives and some others were seriously injured in 2018. 

Before the re-introduction of fast locals, safety parameters across the main lines of Chennai Beach – Tambaram section and at St Thomas Mount, in particular, were reviewed and enhanced to facilitate the reintroduction of these services. 

The tracks at Platform No.4 at St Thomas Mount station were realigned thereby increasing the distance between the track and the concrete fence as an additional safety aspect. 

While services are being resumed the sources from the establishment are asking the passengers to uphold the safety of train travel by not traveling on the footboard and by avoiding standing near the doorway with backpack bags that can get caught in the passing. 

A backpack can be a source of trouble to those who travel on the footboard. Backpacks can get stuck in the poles, fences that come in the way especially when travelers carrying them are hanging on the footboard in a precarious manner. 

Campaigns are being taken up to sensitize passengers of local trains on dangers of footboard traveling. Sensitization is done through station announcements, posters, pamphlets and counseling of public. In spite of such concerted efforts, the cases of footboard travelers having fallen down and injured still take place.

During 2018-19, a total of 11,482 footboard travelers were apprehended, prosecuted and fined under Section 156 of Railways Act, 1989. A fine of Rs.35.31 lakh was also realized from the defaulters.

Footboard traveling is punishable, but, safety should be a top priority, say sources from Southern Railway. Avoiding dangerous ways of traveling is always better, say the sources.

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