Dense fog in north India, especially in Delhi area, seriously hit the timely running of several trains, including Rajdhani Express, towards and from East Coast Railway (ECoR) zone.
Almost 81 trains are running late, 13 trains are cancelled (3rd and 4th Dec) and 40 trains are rescheduled due to fog.
Nine international and four domestic flights from Delhi were delayed due to fog. One Delhi-Lucknow flight cancelled.
The running of several important and prestigious trains like Rajdhani, Duronto, Sampark Kranti, Purusottam, Utkal, Nandankanan, Hirakud Express have been badly affected and their scheduled have gone haywires, an ECoR release said on Friday.
Requesting passengers to bear with the delay in train running as the situation is unavoidable, it said many trains are now being rescheduled and will run on changed timings.
Passengers are urged to refer to Helpline Enquiry Phone 139 to know the current status of their trains.
Rescheduling of trains would also be announced in the media from time to time.
East Coast Railway has already alerted its maintenance staff to be ready for the workload of trains that would be coming out of schedule.
Railways have stepped up monitoring 24X7 the running of trains and a special drive has now been started with the onset of the winter season and prevalence of fog in the morning hours.
ECoR has geared up its manpower to cope with the dense fog during night and early morning hours in various railway sections under its jurisdiction and in the areas prone to be affected by fog.
In dense fog weather i.e. in winter, drivers have been instructed to regulate train speed depending on visibility conditions for the safety of passengers and train movement.
Apart from this, several precautions have also been taken and train running staff are being counselled by the Railway Officers & Safety Counsellors to cope with the situations.
In areas prone to dense fog, luminous and fluorescent strips have been painted in OHE (Overhead Equipment) masts, Level Crossings and at busy traffic areas before an approaching “Stop Signal” to warn the loco pilot about stop signal and sensitive areas ahead.
The provision of this device has been of great help to the loco pilots who now can spot these luminous strips even during fog and get extra careful regarding the aspect of the approaching signal.
The Safety Department of ECoR headquarters has given instructions to accord highest priority for safe train running during foggy weather.
The loco pilots and guards have been instructed to ensure that, they should put the safety of the passengers at the top and should run trains at such reduced speed in foggy weather.
In automatic signal territory, maximum speed of a train is restricted to 30 kmph and in Absolute Block territory speed is restricted to 60 kmph in dense fog.
(With PTI inputs)