- Trains will switch off power to charging ports between 11 PM and 5 AM.
- This is due to the recent increase in fire accidents in trains.
- Western Railways started implementing the new rule on March 16th as a precautionary measure.
Due to an increase in recent fire incidents on trains, the Railway board has issued new orders as a precautionary measure. Trains will no longer allow travellers to charge their mobile devices, laptops, and other electronic devices between 11 PM and 5 AM. According to a senior railway official of Western Railway, the rules were implemented from March 16th. The instructions apply for all railway zones in India and will be followed strictly to avoid electrocution or fire-related accidents.
As per a Southern Railway official, these rules aren’t new, but a reiteration of an older order from the Railway board. The power from the main switchboard on the train will be terminated at 11 PM. The blackout to these points will be applicable till 5 AM. The railway officials have stated that this is a precautionary measure taken to curb the incidents of fire onboard some trains. Several minor fires on long-distance trains were reportedly caused due to overcharging of mobile phones and laptops.
Most recently, there was a fire in a coach of a Shatabdi Express that was plying to Dehradun. This fire was due to a short circuit, and just six days after, another fire was reported in the engine of a goods train. The railway ministry had issued a statement in wake of these recent fires and ensured that safety is the main focus area for the railways.
Apart from bringing in this rule, the Indian Railways has also started initiatives against smoking and carrying of inflammable items. Some of these items were also the cause of recent fires on trains. Both railway users and employees will be made aware of these issues and the precautions that need to be taken to prevent fire-related incidents. Travellers will also be fined if found carrying restricted items, and may even get three years of imprisonment.