Air travel is statistically the safest method of transport, but aircrafts still have an orange-coloured apparatus called the black box. In the event of an air crash, this black box provides the information as to why the accident came to pass, and insight into steps required to prevent such incidences in the future. Going by the same principle, the Indian Railways has decided to introduce a device similar to the airplanes' black box into its trains.
These devices will be used to record the activity in the driver's compartment of a train which will help identify the reasons behind a train accident and ascertain the operational issues and element of human error, a statement by the Ministry of Railways said. The ministry has already started installing the system in diesel and electric locomotive cabs.
"Similar to Black Box, Indian Railway has started installing Loco cab audio video recording system (LCAVR)/ Crew Voice/Video Recording System (CVVRS) in Diesel and Electric locomotives. This system provides invaluable data to investigators which will help them in understanding the sequence of events leading up to an accident and for identifying operational issues and human factors," Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain told the Lok Sabha today.
So far, 23 diesel locomotives and 3 electric ones have been installed with LCAVRs/CVVRSs. A total of 3,500 trains are to be fitted with their black box for a budget of Rs 100.40 crore during this fiscal, Gohain said before the Parliament.
Train accidents have been a longstanding concern for the largest transportation network in the country. Back in October this year, around 60 people were mowed down by a train in Amritsar as a crowd watching a burning Raavan effigy spilled onto the railway tracks. Initially, the blame was laid on the driver for not warning the people standing on the tracks. Later probe by the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety said that the incident occurred due to the carelessness of the people.