After three rounds of service trials and the 10-day failure drills, East-West Metro has inched another step closer towards providing a safe commute. The rakes are being equipped with the advanced “heat-and-smoke detectors”. In India, only Delhi Metro’s Phase III rakes sport this facility, an official said.
“As a fallout of all these trials conducted over the last one month, this major haul in fire safety is being introduced to prevent mishaps on East-West Metro trains,” said an official. “The system can typically detect smoke before it is visible to the naked eye, raise an alarm and extinguish even the hint of flame immediately,” he said.
There are electrical panels inside the hi tech East-West Metro coaches which could lead to fire. The heat sensors in the detectors will react to any change in temperature in these cables. “The sensors in the detectors will know even before the fire actually breaks and action can be taken accordingly. The high sensitivity heat and smoke detection system consists of a central detection unit which draws air through a network of pipes to detect smoke. The unique feature of the temperature sensing system is that it provides a continuous temperature profile along the length of the cable and alert the motorman accordingly,” said an engineer.
The rakes manufactured for the East-West Metro by Bangalore-based BEML Ltd had pre-installed CCTV cameras, but this advanced safety feature wasn’t there.
Keeping in mind the smoke-related disruptions in the north-south line, Metro Railway Kolkata, which runs the corridor and is now gearing to operate the new Metro as well, came up with this last-minute feature to renew fire safety measures in Kolkata’s Line II. The incident in December last year, when 42 passengers fell ill as one of the air-conditioned north-south coaches caught fire between Rabindra Sadan and Maidan stations has been an eye-opener for the authorities. Passengers were forced to smash their way through the windows and at least two of them suffered fractures. The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) had then recommended fire detectors for the state-of-the-art East-West Metro.
For now, the upgraded fire safety equipment will be installed in five BEML rakes identified for the first phase of commercial run. The detectors will be commissioned in all East-West Metro trains eventually.
East-West Metro’s elevated 5km stretch between Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium has been going through a series of trials in the run-up to its launch. Along with the fire safety enhancement, the section’s the public address system (PAS), which had showed some glitches during dummy runs, is also being upgraded.
“The software of the PAS is being upgraded to include improved speech intelligibility, messaging promptness and sharper on-screen portrayal of announcements,” said an official.
Source: Times of India