Last year, South Central Railway (SCR) top brass had announced that the zone is on course to completely removing all the unmanned level crossings by October-end this year. And, true to their word, 269 such crossings have been removed in the last 18 months in a phased manner adopting innovative means.

While the usual practice to remove such unmanned level crossings or railway crossings with no protection is to build road under bridges or limited height subways by putting up signalling, manning the gates through gate ‘mitras’ on so on, for safety and public convenience, the clinching factor was the manner in which the works were done.

General Manager Vinod Kumar Yadav informed on Thursday that the work was done in double quick time by making use of pre-fabricated girders and segmental boxes. This has helped in reducing the time required to halt the trains from moving in the particular section.

Such ‘traffic blocks’ were divided into three hours each for first inserting the relieving height girder on the first day. After that the earth is removed beneath the girder for facilitating the segmental box.

This method led to bare minimal impact on train services and was instrumental in elimination of unmanned level crossings on war footing, he said. Mr. Yadav credited the engineering department for execution of the task as targeted in coordination with departments like operating, electrical and signal departments.

Each year for the last three years, more than Rs. 200 crore was spent for these works. Altogether there were 486 railway level crossings. About 21 road over bridges were also constructed to cross over the unmanned gates with help of R&B department, municipal corporation and national highways.

The GM congratulated his additional GM John Thomas, principal chief engineer K.V. Siva Prasad, chief bridge engineer B. Ashok and divisional railway managers of all the six divisions.

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