Films, rucksacks, cycles and even rods are now tools in the hands of Indian railway staffers who are customising everyday materials to churn out devices to save lives on rail tracks.

Last year, 19 per cent of all train mishaps took place at unmanned level crossings (UMLCs) and in an effort to make the railway staff and passengers more aware about the problem, and how to best deal with it, the Moradabad division of Northern Railway has now made a film.The film detailing the do's and don'ts on such crossings has now gone viral on social media seen by both staffers and passengers.


This is one of the many innovative ideas that zonal railway divisions have thrown up of late.
Down South, a customised rod has been developed by the Hubli Division of South Western railways.


As the time taken to cut through grills of coach windows after an accident is often the difference between life and death during rescue operations, a rod has been deviced to do it in some seconds.


The rod, called Coach Window Rod Snapper Tool, made with high-speed steel, can cut through in 30 to 40 seconds, while hydraulic rod cutters presently do the same work in five minutes.


These innovations comes on the back of a call from the Chairman Railway Board last month asking organisations under the national transporter to list their good works on the railway website so that they can be replicated by others.One of them, a customised rucksack has been designed with tent cloth with fluorescent strips by officials of the North Eastern Railway to be carried by trackmen who patrol tracks.


The strips will help the engine driver detect any movement well in advance so that brakes can be applied to prevent any run over.Costing a mere Rs 500 per piece, the bag, with pockets for water bottle and lunch box is sturdy enough to carry tools and has presently been provided to 14 staffers in Basti in Lucknow division, officials said.


Another innovation – a four wheeler patrolling cycle trolley fabricated indigenously with the help of easily available railway material by staff of mechanical department of Tinsukia Division at North Frontier Railway can carry tools and seat two persons out on safety and maintenance work.


Light weight, with a total cost of Rs 48,000, the cycle, fitted with a GPS, enables railwaymen to reach sites quickly thereby improving maintenance and repair work.