Sunday, January 27, 2008

Indian Railways - The Emergency Hammer again

Its the emergency hammers again. I think I'm addicted to this now. These are the other posts on my rendezvous with the emergency systems on Indian Railways:
- Jan Shatabdi Trivandrum Ernakulam - the invisible emergency hammer.
- Indian Railways - The Emergency Hammer returns.

This time it was on the Chengannur Thriuvananthapuram A/C Chair Car on the 'Parasuram express'.

1. Again there is a glass pane (which says its toughened glass) which needs to be broken before you get access to a chain which you're supposed to pull. This pull is somehow supposed to cause the emergency window to open (I guess its supposed to pull out the rubber beading and this would in turn free the big window glass). How do you break this small glass pane in the first place- should an emergency hammer have been installed near it? Or can the glass be broken with bare hands. A good answer might be - during an emergency, we'll find out!
2. Now, suppose you've learnt karate and with one chop you can smash the small glass. Whoever told you life is easy? This time they've bolted the chain with a steel strip over it in an unthoughtful improvisation. This metal strip is supposed to hide the curtain rails. Unfortunately, the cosmetics have effectively short circuited the core functionality of being an emergency window.

I seriously hope, with its cash surplus, the Indian Railways goes for a complete design overhaul. A hazaar things need to be made better, the chalta hai attitude must change. Or maybe Kaizen could do it well - continual little steps that could gradually make a big difference. Though unintentional, the continual neglect of passenger safety makes me a worried traveler, despite its relatively (compared to its scale of operations) good safety records.

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