Beginning this year,the North Central Railway (NCR) zone will begin a major exercise to remove interface between road and rail traffic on the level-crossings by constructing 391 road over bridges (ROBs),road under bridges (RUBs) and limited height subways (LHSs) over the next couple of years. Apart from reducing accidents,these structures would also go a long way in improving the train movement,said railway officials.
The NCR zone,which includes Allahabad,Jhansi and Agra divisions, is among the busiest zones,particularly with the bulk of the ever busy Howrah-Delhi route falling under its jurisdiction. It extends from Mughal Sarai (in Chandauli district near Varanasi) to Delhi,while the Jhansi and Agra divisions extend from Bina (in Madhya Pradesh) to Palwal (in Haryana).
According to the Chief Public Relations Officer of NCR,Sandeep Mathur,the provision for bringing up these structures has been sanctioned in this years railway budget. For this year,only nominal amounts have been sanctioned to prepare the surveys,drawings and feasibility reports, said Mathur,adding that as and when this phase is completed,more funds would be made available. It should be completed over the next three to four years, he added.
Mathur added that the exercise had been going on in the past but in a rather piecemeal manner. Last year,the zone got seven ROBs,four RUBs and three LHSs, he said. Apart from obviously improving the safety record at level crossings,the project will have a tremendous impact on the movement of trains.
Once a level crossing is opened for road traffic,the movement of trains gets stuck. By the time it restarts and picks normal speed,there is the problem of bunching of trains because of the high density on the main routes,like the Howrah-Delhi route, said Mathur. With practically no level crossings left,the train movement will go on without interruptions and add hugely to trains punctuality,he added.
There are over 650 manned level crossings across the zone,while the number of unmanned level crossings is more than 450. But so far,most of the major crossings will be covered under these 391 structures. A large number of crossings are also on the branch lines. But there,neither the road traffic nor the rail traffic is too heavy, said an NCR official.