To help more than two lakh rail personnel, railways on monday launched the new ergonomic and optimised lightweight toolkit for track maintainers.

We have always maintained that those who work round the clock for railways in difficult condition, we have to improve facilities for them, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said while launching the new lightweight kit for trackmen, keymen and patrolmen involved in track maintenance work at Mumbai.

These personnel are generally assigned work for maintaining the track for upto six to eight km section on daily basis. The track maintainers are carrying contingent of tools from their tool boxes to site of work. Each track maintainer carries about 5 tools, which are weighing about 26 kg. The primary tools are beaters, crowbars, rake ballast among others, required to keep the rail track fit for trains.

Railways have now redesigned these tools with improved metallurgy and better design. As a result total weight of equipment carried by trackmen has now been reduced to about 16 kg from 26 kg.

Highlighting the trackmen’s role in safety of train run, he said "Though they will be still burdened with the responsibility of safety of train operation, we have tried to reduce the burden of their tool kit." 

Carrying of these equipments to site will now be more easy and handy for the track maintainers and expected to increase productivity of trackmen.

Railways have approximately 70,000 km route passing through dense forest, ice-capped mountains, deserts and cities which is maintained by the trackmen, keymen and patrolmen.

Prabhu said "Earlier we had launched a project for providing toilets in locomotives for train drivers. All these proposals were part of our budget announcements. Whatever we have committed in budget we will fulfill it." 

He said there will be new uniforms for station masters soon.