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Trains will now run faster - at 75 kmph, instead of the present 60 kmph - during fog or other adverse weather conditions, according to a policy decision taken by the Railway Board. The decision was taken during a full board meeting held on February 2. "With use of fog devices in locomotives, the maximum permissible speed during foggy or inclement weather condition is enhanced from 60 kmph to 75 kmph subject to the judgement of the loco pilots," the board said in a letter to all railway zones yesterday. The GPS-enabled fog safety device to alert the loco pilot about approaching signals is being used across zones.
In the absence of this device, crew has to often reduce the speed to walking speed and search for signals, officials said. The Northern Railway, the worst affected zone, has been using 800 such devices on its network. The move to increase the speed of trains was part of a strategy adopted by the transport behemoth to cut delays. The board in the meeting also decided that railway zones should scrap "uneconomic stoppages" of mail or express trains and reduce stoppage time. It said that the joint speed certificate - allowing permission for speed enhancement - issued by the Commissioner Railway Safety should be made online and instructed that necessary software should be developed within two months. The board has also said that level-crossing gates should be eliminated for better operational efficiencies by providing road under bridges (RUBs).