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The Indian Railways are testing the alertness of the staff by using an explosive device that is equivalent to an anti-tank landmine but emits a loud sound, The Hindu reports.
The railways get detonators containing proprietary chemicals from an ordnance factory specialising in explosives. These pressure bombs are flat, circular explosives which explode after getting triggered by the weight of a locomotive or a wagon wheel.
These detonators are used by the railways in a restricted manner to stop a train from chugging into a disaster. The detonators come with metal clips in a box of ten from the ordnance factory to the Railways at the cost of Rs 163. The railways allot each station two boxes and one each to gatemen at level crossings.
“Each of these detonators has a shelf life of five years. We usually do not let the unused ones go waste and spring surprises on the running as well as station staff to test their alertness,” M.K. Agarwal, Principal Chief Safety Officer of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) said.
During such an emergency, the gateman needs to attach a detonator on a rail at 600 m from the level crossing and three more detonators at 10 m apart till a distance of 1,200 m. The driver needs to apply brakes when the detonators are triggered due to the weight of wheels.
“The detonators are powerful enough for locomotive drivers to hear beyond the noise of the train. But they do not cause any damage to the railway line,” Agarwal adds.
This article first appeared on swarajyamag.com
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