Rail transport is the one of the overland transport in the world that uses rail track built on ground for its operations. Since, it’s one of the land based transportation, hence, it becomes paramount importance for all road users to be conscious and cautious when approaching any rail track.
In view of this, here are the simple safety tips you need to know on rail transportation:
Train has no specific time:
Many road users such as motorists, cyclists etc. aren’t always conscious of the fact that freight trains don’t have schedule time and that it can be on operation anytime, anyplace and anywhere. Therefore, it’s high risk for any road user to approach highway-rail crossing anyhow without being safety conscious and cautious.
Train cannot stopped immediately:
Although, a train has an emergency brake system, yet it can’t bring the train to an instant halt. In other words, the train has no kind of brake we have in motor vehicles that can bring a motor vehicle into an instant stoppage. So, don’t cross the rail track at will when the rail is fast approaching; it may be closer to you than how it really appears and more importantly, it does not have the capacity to stop for you like a car.
Train cannot diverge:
It’s very difficult, if not impossible, for train operators to avoid or diverge for any object, vehicle or person on its track. Trains are designed to follow their track to a desired location or destination. It operates like one way traffic, so to say. No flexibility, therefore, like I noted earlier, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for train operators to avoid an unwanted collision on its tracks. Hence, be careful when approaching a highway-rail crossing.
Don’t misjudge the train by ignoring the warnings at the level crossing:
Some level crossings are designed with safety warnings for all road users who intend to make use of the level crossing, but it’s worthy to note that some motorists and cyclists take such safety warnings for granted by misjudging the speed of a train. This may explain why some collision between a vehicle and a train occur occasionally, at the level crossing.
Don’t misjudging the speed of a train:
Often times, most road users erroneously assume that a locomotive train travels at a slow speed; hence, you see many of them daring the speed of a train approaching level crossing even though they hear the sound of the train from afar. This poor safety attitude may also lead to a collision at the level crossing.
Don’t use the rail tracks as your pedestrian facility:
It baffles me whenever I see pedestrians who deliberately decide to use the rail track as their foot path to their desired destinations. In fact, you see some of them trekking a reasonable distance on a rail track, and funny enough, they mistakenly believe that they could use the rail track as their footpath with impunity. This is a dangerous behavior, because the train can come in any direction and the pedestrians may be caught in an area that may be too difficult for them to avoid or escape the oncoming train.
Be watchful at a level crossing:
Finally, always be watchful for other trains when you are at a level crossing with more than one rail track. In addition, don’t cross the track immediately after a train; please wait to see if other train is not moving on the other rail tracks.
It pays to be safety conscious whenever you are at the level crossing.
A reason why railway was established in Nigeria
Rail transport is the movement of people and goods by using a wheeled transport vehicle, which is made to move on a railway track. In Nigeria during colonial era when railway transport was first established, the primary aim of its establishment was to evacuate agric produce in Nigeria. Since, railway transport has the capacity to carry goods in large quantity; its establishment was fully considered by then.
However, nowadays I see more reasons why railway transport system must be established in most countries especially in Nigeria where there are huge number of unemployed youths. One of the reasons among others is that railway transport system can create direct and indirect jobs for thousands of people. I hope if unemployment problem can be solved or reduced to barest minimum it will give a better life to many Nigerians and it will help the nation’s economy.
Meaning of unemployment
Unemployment is a common problem in the world today. It is a major social problem that is affecting many youths in different parts of the world most especially in Africa. Unemployment happens when a man who is ready and able to work is searching for an employment over a period of time and he’s unable to find or get employment. Better still, it is when someone of working age is seriously looking for a paid work for weeks or months or years. However, the national unemployment rate in many countries is determined by the percentage of unemployed people in the total labour force.
Unemployment and its consequences
When a man is unemployed his family suffers for lack of money and he will not be able to contribute meaningfully to the economy of a nation at large, when it comes to service and production of goods. More so, unemployed people lack purchasing power and this may also lead to unemployment for other people, when goods and services are not properly or well patronized by fairly large number of people due to unemployment, the producers and the providers of such goods and services may fold up. Furthermore, militancy and other crimes in Nigeria have been linked to high rate of unemployed youths in the country. Hence, the saying, an idle hand is the devil’s work shop. Therefore, high rate of unemployment is a great problem and high risk in any given country that must be addressed.
Financial distress is one of the direct consequences of unemployment, when getting a new job takes a longer time or period job searching becomes more difficult for the job seekers and it may lead to financial worries and anger, these may also explain why some of unemployed youths are involved in undesirable crime in the society
When you consider a lot of challenges job seekers have to face in Nigeria, most especially when they are being deceived and defrauded by employment agencies, then I hope you will agree with me that the high rate of unemployed youths in Nigeria needs more urgent attention better than before.
I personally discovered that transport generally as it were is a great source of employment in any given nation. However, I will like to talk on just mode of transport that can provide thousands of direct jobs to unemployed youths. This mode of transport is railway transport system. It is a special mode of transport that must not be undermined because it has the capacity to provide hundred thousand of jobs if properly maintained. However, at this point, it is important to look at some railway transport companies and their staff strength by this you will agree that railway transport is capable to provide thousands of jobs to thousands of people.
Early days of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC)
“According to Jetson Nwakwo, managing director of the NRC said the company had employed 45,000 people between 1954 and 1975, current employment is only 6,516.” If a single organization as at 1975, provided direct jobs for 45,000 people and the figure for indirect jobs were not inclusive or mentioned, you can now imagine the number of direct and indirect jobs such a single company is likely to provide by now, if it’s properly maintained.
Kenya Government plans to tackle unemployment.
Kenya Government is planning very hard to reduce the number of unemployed citizen in their country through a viable railway transport system.
“The new proposed railway deal in Kenya is expected to create more than 30,000 new direct jobs for Kenyans, while it also has the potential to provide 13,000 indirect jobs through the local companies that are expected to supply local materials and the services needed for the venture.” Source: Daily Nation. Indian Railway the 7th largest employer in the world
It is interesting to know that in whole world, railway transport system is the7th largest employer of labour. The name of the railway company is India Railway. It has 1.334 million employees in 2014. Source: Wikipedia. When a single company employed over one million people, you can also imagine indirect jobs such company will also provide for people in its environment.Pakistan Railways: The Pakistan Railways also provides employment to large number of her citizens, the company employed 82,424 people between year 2010 and 2011. Source: Wikipedia.
Russian Railways: The Russian Railways was established in 18th of September, 2003. However, as at 31st of December, 2011, the company employed 942, 808 people. Source: Wikipedia. Other Railway Transport Companies and their Staff Strength
The following companies are rail-manufacturing companies in the world and they also run a railway transport system, hence, it is important to look at the number of direct jobs they provided in each of the company for better understanding.
Bombardier: It is a Canadian company that has 33,800 rail-related employees as at early year of 2010. You can also imagine what the figure will be by now. Railway transport is a major source of employment.
Alstom: This is a company that has its headquarters in France, and in its transport division, it has 27,000 employees.
Siemens: This is a German company that has 19,000 employees in its transport division.
China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock (CSR): Is a China base company it has about 112,000 employees.
China Northern Locomotive and Rolling Stock: It is also one of the rail manufacturing companies that have more than 100,000 employees.
Sourcecredited to:Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry by: Michael Renner and Gary Gardner.
Without a nagging doubt, the existence of mode rail infrastructure in above given countries is a significant source of employments, that makes important contribution to improve quality of life of thousands of people, by providing jobs in thousands to unemployed youths and boosting the economy. Therefore, my earlier assertion that railway transport system is a notable solution to unemployment is not an over statement but, a stark truth.
All transport accidents are unwanted accidents but, the most unwanted accident in overland transport is rail accident. Why? It is because one rail accident can kill or injure a fairly large number of people more than other land transport. For instance, on 20th of March, 2015, an India train knows as Dehradun-Varanasi Janta Express derails and killed 15 people while 150 people are injured in a single accident. However, rail accidents that occurred in 2016 are here below:
4 January in US. A Tri-Rail passenger train collided with a garbage truck which had broken down on a grade crossing at Lake Worth station, Florida and was derailed. 22 people were injured.
8 January in Thailand- A passenger train collided with a Cattle truck near Phetchaburi Railway Station, Phetchaburi province and was derailed. 3 people are killed, 34 people were injured.
Often the time, I have seen people talking about road accident either on radio or news paper while a plane crash make a big noise in the world, but it is not common to see many people in the country, talking about rail accident when you compare it to how they talk about road accident or plane crash in the country. At this point, it is interesting to let you know that there are several rail accidents in 2015 that you need to know and here below are the list of rail accidents in the said year:
7th of January- Canada – A CN freight train 114 cars derails between the community of Jarrow, Alberta and village of lrma. 23 cars also derail.
14th of January-USA- A Texas Department of Criminal Justice bus with 12 inmates and 3 officers was traveling from Abilene, Texas to El Paso, Texas when it collided with a train, near Odessa, Texas, killing 10.
3rd February, in USA, A Metro-North Railroad train strikes one car at a crossing near Valhalla, New York, and cateches on fire, killing 6 people.
13th of February, in India, Anekal derailment of intercity Express in the Bangalore of Kamataka, India killing 10 and injuring 150 more.
16th February, in Canada A CN freight train transporting crude oil derails 80 km south of Timmins, Ontaro. 29 of 100 cars derail and 7 crude oil tank cars catch fire.
16th Feburary, in US.- A CSX freight train derails in West Virginina. A broken rail caused 19 Bakken crude oil tank cars to catch fire, with 1,100 people evacuated from their homes nearby.
February 20 in Switzerland-Rafz train crash an S-Bahn train and an interregio express train collide at Rafz.
24th of February, in US. Oxnard train derailment a Metrolink train hits a road vehicle at Oxnard, California. The train engineer dies and 29 others are injured.
25th February, in US, A CN freight train traveling from Winnipeg, Mnitoba to Superior, Wisconsin derails 25 miles northwest of Duluth, Minnesota. Thirteen of 107 cars in the train derail, some of which contain naphthalene. No injuries or spills were reported.
2 March in US. A Pacific train hauling hazardous material derails near Meacham, Oregon; 10 cars jump the tracks in a narrow canyon overlooking Meacham Creek.
5 March in US. A BNSF oil train derails in a rural area near Galena, Illinois. 21 of the 105 cars, leave the track and catch fire, which continues to burn, no injuries are reported.
6 March in Netherlands- A passenger train runs into the rear of a freight train between Tilburg Universiteit and Tilburg stations. A few passenger suffer slight injuries.
7th of March in Canada- A CN freight train derails near the small Northern Ontario village of Gogama, Ontario. 40 out of 100 cars derail, with 5 of them entering the Makami River and 7 carrying crude oil catching fire and burning for several days.
7th of March UK. – A charter train overruns a signal at Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire and comes to a stop foul of a junction, where an express train has passed through a minute earlier. As a direct result of the incident, West Coast Railway Company were banned from accessing all lines in the UK as of 3 April, 2015.
9th of March in United States- An Amtrak passenger train collides with a tractor trailer in Halifax, North Carolina. No life-threatening injuries were reported. The accident was caught on video.
10 March in Vietnam- A passenger train collide with a vehichle on level crossing in Hai Lang District and is derailed. The train driver is killed and 4 people were seriously injured.
12 March in Netherlands- A fire occurs on a passenger train at Abcoude, Utrecht. All on board are evacuated. 24 people are taken to hospital.
15 March in US.- A Norfolk Southern freight train crashes into a white Toyota Camry car with 4 passengers in it while it was crossing the tracks at a level crossing in Buechel, Kentucky. 2 people were killed in the crash while 2 were injured and taken to nearby hospital.
20 March in India- 15 people are killed, 150 are injured as the Dehradun-Varanasi Janta Express derails in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli.
26 March in Thailand- A passenger train runs into the rear of another in Phachi District. 52 people are injured in the collision, three seriously.
28th of March in USA- an Expo Line train collides with two cars causing the 2015 Los Angeles train crash. There are at least 21 injuries.
31st of March in Australia- A freight train runs into the rear of another at Keswick, Adelaide, South Australia. At least one of the rail is derailed and 2 level crossings are blocked.
10th of April in Canada- A freight train derails north east of Calgary, Alberta.
15th of April in United Kingdom- A empty Southern Class 377 train unit no. 118 derails in Lovers Walk, Brighton causing damage to electrical cable that supply power. No passengers were in the train but the driver is not injured by the result. Buses replace train in the afternoon and the morning of 16/4/2015.
27 April in US. – Several well cars of a Union Pacific train derail off a Bridge City, Louisiana during a severe storm.
28 April in South Africa- Two passenger trains collide at Denver station, near Johannesburg. One person is killed and about 240 people are injured.
6 May in US. – A train derails near Heimdal, North Dakota, which ignites a crude oil fire in 6 tanker cars and forces the evacuation of approximately 40 nearby residents. Npo injuries or fatalities were reported.
12 May in US. – Amtrak passenger train Northeast Regional Train 188, coming from Washington D. C. to New York City and carring an estimated 238 passengers and five crew, derails and partially rolls over on its side in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the Port Richmond neighborhood. Out of the 243 passengers and crew on the train more than 200 are injured in the derailment, with a confirmation of 8 deaths. This is the U. S.‘s deadliest train incident in almost 6 years.
13 May,-US. A CSX freight train collides with a bus in East Point, Georgia that was trapped on a railroad crossing by traffic, while stopped at a traffic light. 6 people were injured in the wreck.
16 May in Germany- A passenger train collides with an agricultural vehicle on a level crossing at lbbenburen, North-Rhine Westphalia. 2 people are killed and 20 are injured.
25 May, in India – An express train derails between Athsarai amd Sirathu stations, Uttar Pradesh. 2 people are killed and over 100 are injured.
30 May, in UK. 2 electric multiple units collide at Cambridge. 3 people are injured.
11 June in Tunisia 19 people are killed and 98 injured when a rush hour passenger train hits a lorry and derails at an unmarked crossing south of Tunis. Most of the dead were passenger on the train which hit the lorry around 60 km south of the capital the transport ministry said.
28 June in India an electric unit overruns the buffers at churchgate, Mumbai. Five people are injured.
30 June in UK. A freight train is derailed near Langworth, Lincoishire.
July 2nd in US. A train carrying hazardous materials goes off of its tracks near Knoxville, Tennessee.
July 2nd in Pakistan Army passenger train is derailed when a bridge over a canal collapses under it at Gujiranwala.19 of the 300 people on board are killed.
18th of July, in South Africa 2 passenger trains are in collision at Booysens, Johannesburg. Over 100 people are injured.
22nd of July, in Czech Republic- A train crashes with a truck in Studenka whereby 3 people die and 13 others are injured.
26 July in UK. – A Southeastern Class 375 collides with herd of cattle on the line at Chilham, kent and 375703’s front coach is derailed. There are no injuries amongst the 70 passengers.
1st of August, in Uk- A ballast train runs into the rear of another ballast train near Cumnock, Ayrshire. Both trains are derailed.
4th of August in India- 2 passenger trains are derailed near Kudawa, Madhya Pradesh due to the tracked being washed away by the Machak River. 29 people are killed.
August 8, in Russian- Passenger train with number 233 in Mordovia derails because of boarding of the rails. 4 railcars of a passenger train en route from Yekaterinburg to Adler run off the rails in Mordovia. 5 passengers are injured.
24th of August, in India-A Bangalore-Nanded Express train number 16594 is rammed by a granite-laden truck at level crossing near Madakasira in Anantapur district, leading to derailment of 4 coaches and killing 6 people.
12 September in Germany- A passenger train collides with a car in Monzingen, killing the 5 occupants of the car.
12 September in India- A passenger train derails on the Kalka-Shimla Railway killing 2 and injuring 9 of the 37 passengers on board.
16 September, in Germany- A passenger train is in collision with a bus on a level crossing at Hedendorf. All those on board the bus, which had stalled, had been evacuated before the accident. 1 passenger on the train is injured.
5th of October, in US. – An Amtrak passenger train strikes rocks on the line and derails near Northfield, Vermont.
24 October in US. A southbound Union Pacific freight train hauling 64 cars of gravel and concrete materials was swept off the tracks by flood waters just north of Corsicana, Texas, after Hurricane Patricia’s weak remnants dumped 18 inches of rain on the area over a 2-day period. Both crew members were rescued from the flood waters uninjured.
14 November, in France- A high speed TVG test train derails near Eckwersheim, north of Strasbourg (Alsace), killing 11 people and injuring the remaining 49 survivors; no criminal cause is suspected, despite the event taking place hours after the November 2015 Paris attacks.
14 November, in US. A freight train collided with a Toyota Camry in North Carolina, killing the 2 elderly passengers of the vehicle.
17 November, in Pakistan- The Jaffar Express is derailed at Aab-e-Gum. 20 people are killed and 96 injured.
27 December, in Australia- A freight train carrying 819,000 litres of sulphuric acid derails 20 km (20mi) east of Julia Creek, Queensland, leaking up to 31, 500 litres of acid.
Railway transportation is one of the transport modes that suitable for large transportation of people and cargos over a long distance. It is efficient and cheap in carrying a large number of people and goods more than any other overland transports. These important qualities make it more relevant and preferable in overland transport. Therefore, I think it is important to talk about the manufacturers of rail vehicles in the world. Here below the leading rail-manufacturer companies in the world:
Bombardier: This is the number one leading manufacturer company of rail-vehicles. It is a Canadian company that was established in 1940s; and ii 19 70s the company engaged in rail business and the headquarters of the company transportation division is located in Germany. However, the company has not less than 59 production and engineering sites and 20 service centers in 25 countries. It is interesting to know that over 100,000 rail- vehicles and 2,500 trams and light rail-vehicles produced by Bombardier Company are used throughout the world. In addition, the company also supplied more than 3,000 sub-way cars to the United Kingdom, China and India. More so, the company is the major provider of commuter and regional trains in France and Germany. It is also interesting to know that Bombardier Company and Alstom Company built Amatrak’s Acela Express. Indeed, Bombardier is the largest rail-vehicle manufacturer in the world.
Alstom: Alstom is the 2nd largest rail-vehicles manufacturer company that was established in 1928, and started to manufacture rail-vehicles in 1932, and its headquarters is located in France. The company built over 400 TGVs that are used in France while another over 640 in used throughout the world. In addition, the company built another faster rail-vehicle 2008, knows as AGVs with a high speed of 225 miles per hour. However, it is important to note that Alstom tops the global market for very high speed rail-vehicles. It is the second largest manufacturer of tram and subway vehicles in the world.
Siemens: it’s a German company that was established in 1847. The company with Bombardier’s Adtranz manufacture high speed train knows as ICE 2, it also, supplied a quite number of ICE 3 trains to some countries which are Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Spain, Russia and China. The company has made a good history in Shanghai by designing and building the Maglev train which is the only railway system in operation till date.
Kawasaki and other Japanese companies: these Japanese companies that specialize in rail manufacturing are among the big companies in Japan. It’s worthy to note that the rail division of Kawasaki firms has manufactured over 90,000 rail vehicles since 1906. Each rail manufacturer company in Japan can design and build slower-speed trains while high-speed trains are design and build in collaboration with other rail manufacturers which are Nippon Sharyo, Hitachi, Kawasaki, Kinki Sharyo, Mitsubishi, and Tokyo Car Corp. However, some countries have placed order for Japanese train the countries include Taiwan, China, India and United Kingdom.
China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock (CSR) and China Northern Locomotive and Rolling Stock (CNR): These 2 china’s companies were established in 2001. The CSR specialized in producing electric locomotives, high-speed electrical multiple units (EMUs), and certain types of subway vehicles. However, CNR specialized in producing diesel locomotives, very-high speed (EMUs) and certain types of subway vehicles. However, both companies manufacture high speed rail in collaboration with the leading international rail manufacturers.
These are the rail manufacturing companies that produce many rail vehicles that are used in the world today. The existence of these manufacturing companies is a boost to rail transport operation in the world.
Sourcecredited to:Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry by: Michael Renner and Gary Gardner.