Initiatives for Railway Safety

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Safety has always been accorded highest priority by Railways. Expenditure on safety related activities forms part of both Revenue and Capital segments of Budget. An expenditure of ₹ 60,885 cr has been incurred in 2017-18 on safety related activities. In Budget Estimates 2018-19 outlay for such activities has been increased to ₹ 73,065 cr, as can be seen from the following table –


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     ( ₹in cr)



RE 2017-1860827
Actual 2017-1860885
BE 2018-1973065

This also includes expenditure out of ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK)’ which has been introduced in 2017-18 for critical safety works, with a corpus of ₹ 1 lakh cr to be utilised over a period of five years.

The traditional methods of manual Railway track inspection are very important to ensure safety of running trains and are not outdated in Indian social scenario. However, IR has decided to adopt best available advance technology to supplement existing inspections and reduce reliance on human interface in inspection.

Induction and proliferation of following new technologies have been decided for improved track inspection and monitoring:

  1. Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) for monitoring health of track ballast bed and to prioritize deep screening of track.
  2. Axle Box Mounted Accelerometers on pilot basis in 40 rakes of fastest train on selected high density trunk routes to monitor track requiring urgent attention and generate alerts on daily basis.
  3. High Speed Cameras for monitoring Track Components Condition through machine vision.
  4. Rail Grinding Machines with complementary Switch Grinding Machines to cover entire Indian Railway track for maintenance of rails to control fracture due to rolling contact fatigue.
  5. Vehicular Ultrasonic Flaw Detection (USFD) Self Propelled Ultrasonic Rail Testing Cars (SPURT Cars) to cover entire Indian Railways network for monitoring and identifying propagation of rail/weld defects for improving safety of track.
  6. Integrated Track Recording Cars with facility of Component Monitoring and Clearance measurement System, to cover entire Indian Railway network.

Implementation of new technologies over Indian Railways is a continuous process. The works mentioned above are already sanctioned.

Expenditure on safety has increased from ₹ 30,661 cr in 2009-10 to ₹ 73,065 cr in 2018-19 (Budget Estimates). RRSK has been introduced in 2017-18 for financing critical safety related works under Capital segment of Budget with a corpus of ₹ 1 lakh cr over a period of five years having an annual outlay of ₹ 20,000 cr. Funds under RRSK are deployed to finance identified works under Plan heads Track Renewal, Bridge Works, Signalling & Telecommunication Works, Road Safety Works of Level Crossing and Road Over/Under Bridges, Rolling Stock, Traffic Facilities, Electrical Works, Machinery and Plant, Workshops, Passenger Amenities, Training/HRD and Other Specified Works.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


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