To win its battle against frequent incidents of stray cattle run over by trains, the Railways has zeroed in on a fencing design based on NHAI crash barriers and walls made of seasoned and creosote oil-treated bamboos coated with high-density poly-ethylene.
After a slew of incidents involving Vande Bharat trains running over cattle, the Railway Board sent out two letters — one each to the general managers of North Central Railway and the Western Railways — apprising them of the need to fence key sections of the Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes which are prone to cattle run over cases.
In both these routes, work to increase sectional speed to 160 kmph is going on.
In the Western Railway zone, the Railway Board has given orders to execute “modified and designed fencing based on NHAI crash barrier for a significant length of about 400 km on the Ahmedabad-Vadodara-Mumbai section” to prevent crossing of pedestrians, cattle, two-wheelers and other vehicles.
Crash barriers of the appropriate type are installed at accident-prone locations, especially in areas like valley sides of hilly roads, high embankments, and sharp and blind curves. These are very effective in absorbing the impact of hitting vehicles and reducing the severity of accidents.
There are several barriers like rigid type made using cast-in-situ precast reinforced concrete panels or of flexible type constructed using metallic cold-rolled and/or hot-rolled sections among others.
For the NCR region, the Railway Board has chosen a 20 km section between Ghaziabad and Kanpur for fencing made of seasoned and creosote oil-treated bamboo coated with high-density poly-ethhylene. In both these sections, the Railway Board has suggested that the distance of fencing from the centreline of the nearest track may be kept about 4.5 metres to 7 metres.
However, it has given the zonal railways the autonomy to decide on the actual distance of fencing from the centreline of the nearest track keeping in view the site conditions, the requirement of service road for any maintenance/renewal works, multi-tracking works, level of trespassing and overall effectiveness of proposed fencing.
“The design of the above fencing shall prevent the cattle crossings and also seal the entry to track at level crossings, ROB/RUB, bridges etc locations with required access control. The drawing shall be communicated by Railway Board “The provision of boundary wall should only be carried out at Railway Boundary as per present practice for encroachment prone locations only,” it said.
According to official data, cattle runovers affected 200 trains in the first nine days of October. As many as 4,000 trains have been affected so far this year.