Indian train surfers to be banned

Government determined to avoid deaths from overhead wires

Travel Insurance News - 18/02/2010

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It might sound like a plague that is spreading around the youth of the world, where gutsy youngsters jump on to trains and go for very treacherous fast rides to prove how tough they are to their friends. This kind of train surfing is something you might see while traveling by rail over India or on television. The health and safety department of the Indian Government has now said though, that from next month the state owned Western Railway trains will not budge if there are people seen on the roof.

The ban on roof riders is due to be around the same time the new more powerful overhead cables go into use on some of the routes. The government says that they want to try save more lives by not allowing this perilous form of adventurism. There are many incidents every year where people, sitting atop the trains, are killed by falling off or being electrocuted on overhead wires. In Mumbai, 18 people died each weekday in 2008, from incidents involving roof riding on trains.

In the near future, similar measures are expected to be enforced all over the country as the government is hoping to upgrade around 15,000 miles of tracks with the addition of new trains that have capabilities like wireless internet. A representative for Western Railway said that it will be hard to police such a radical change and is sure to cause widespread pandemonium, but the safety of the people comes first.

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