“Speed Consistent With Safety is the Motto of Every Railwayman” was the catchphrase you found on early railway timetables. It was heard so often that it sounded like a cliché, yet it was an all important rule every railwayman had to, and still has to follow.
Another catchphrase was Speed is the Cry of the Day, but Safety First Must be the Paramount Consideration. The message was blared out on the very first opening page of the Working Timetable of a long time back. And there followed instructions for drivers, guards, station masters, controllers, signal inspectors and other operating staff detailing important procedures which if followed conscientiously would go a long way in ensuring safety.
Here are excerpts from this precious old time table. They give us an idea of what was involved in running trains with speed consistent with safety, which was expected to be the motto of every railwayman.
Here are a few questions based on the most important prevalent causes of accidents. Compliance with the ideas contained in these questions may develop your safety habits.
1. Do you test the engine automatic vacuum-brake apparatus before leaving the shed and also check the brake-power of your train at the first down gradient to ensure that you have got adequate brake power ?
2. Do you check before starting that you have got the correct authority to proceed and that correct signals are shown and that the line before you is clear of all visible obstructions ?
3. Do you exchange signals with the Guard when ---
a) Starting from a station,
b) Starting after stopping outside station limits, and,
c) Running through a station ?
4. Do you ensure that your train has stopped clear of all fouling marks while stopping at a station ?
5. Do you anticipate signals presuming they are lowered for you, or keep a sharp look out for signals and remain always vigilant and cautious ?
6. Do you observe speed restrictions between stations and while entering or passing stations—particularly over loop lines and non-interlocked facing points ?
7. Do you make reverse movement over burst points and spring points without the points properly set and secured ?
8. Do you perform shunting at a station making sure you are in possession of the correct shunting authority, badge, or a written permission of the Station Master on duty, and supervised by an authorized person ?
9. Do you book repairs of your engine correctly at the end of your run ?
10. Do you take adequate rest when off duty to be watchful and worthy on duty ?
Here are a few questions based on the most important prevalent causes of accidents. Compliance with the ideas contained in these questions may develop your safety habits
1. While taking over a train do you ensure that the –
--Train is properly marshaled and coupled
--Train the provided with the prescribed brake power
--Doors of all carriages and wagons are in proper working order and closed and fastened.
--Train carries all the necessary last-vehicle indicators and brakevan lamps, and that such lamps are lighted and kept burning brightly during the prescribed hours.
--Train communication between you and Driver is in proper working order, and
--Generally, as far as you can ascertain, the train is in a state of efficiency for travelling ?
2. Do you remain vigilant while on the run and exchange signals with your Driver and the Station Master as prescribed by the rules ?
3. Do you ensure that on arrival at a station the last vehicle of your train clears the fouling marks of all points, crossings and lockbars ? If not, is the Station Master informed at once ?
4. Do you personally conduct shunting at roadside stations ?
5. Do you follow the procedure of protecting the train in the block section rigidly when required ?
6. Do you take adequate rest when off duty to be watchful and worthy on duty ?
1. Your primary duty is to get trains away with the least possible delay.
2. Tokens should be sent to the Drivers without delay and shunting to be done should be attended to promptly.
3. Shunting staff should be kept ready at the point where shunting has to be done, before the arrival of the train.
4. Particular attention should be paid to signal lamps to see that they are kept burning brightly.
5. Trains which are arranged to run through stations without stopping should always do so on the straight line. When the straight line is blocked, a train may be passed on the loop at a speed not exceeding 15 km per hour.
6. Check your clocks daily to ensure that they exhibit the right time.
7. Packages must be ready in the correct place and loading and unloading done expeditiously.
TRAIN EXAMINING STAFF
1. Stop boards must be kept on for the minimum possible time.
2. Vacuum test must be carefully and quickly done.
3. Vacuum brakes must be released whenever an engine is detached from a train.