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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    How come railway pantry cars are using gas cylinders?

    We know that we can't take any explosive item into the trains during our journey including small gas cylinders. Then how come pantry cars in railways carry gas cylinders and that too they are used for cooking? Is there any special permission for them? Won't there be any risk to the train if the gas cylinders are carried in a pantry car?
  • #603915
    Good question. But remember that the pantry car in a train doesn't carry passengers. Also, the pantry car will have firefighting provision to handle fire due to gas cylinders. Now you may ask why the Engine of a train carries Diesel which is not allowed to be carried by the passengers.

    A good question without giving a good thought that made it as a silly question.

    No life without Sun

  • #603917
    Mr. Sun, it may look silly for you but many people wanted to know the reason including me.

  • #603919
    The author has raised a valid question. When the Railways prominently displays prohibiting that carrying gas cylinders, crackers, kerosene and other explosive materials is against law and punishable, probably the pantry cars are permitted to use the cylinders to cater to the needs of the long distance passengers. By the way not all the trains have the pantry cars and only long distance trains have them. But care has been taken to have the pantry car at the end of the train , so that in the event of any fire mishap, the carriage can be detached from rest of the coaches of the train. Moreover if you visit the pantry car, everything secured. No chance of gas cylinder getting leaked nor there is any chance of fire mishap. But anything can happen in the moving train, and the Railways must use the solar power henceforth in the pantry car for doing the cooking jobs.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #603927
    Yes, it is a matter of serious concern. However, as far as I know, the pantry cars take good precaution in this regard, but even then there is some possibility of catching fire. Nowadays, many long-distance trains don't have pantry cars and in those trains, food packets are delivered to the passengers at pre-designated stations.

    In earlier days (late eighties and early nineties), I remember that kerosene stoves ('sigris') were used by private vendors, which was really very very dangerous. Now, it has been totally stopped.

    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #603930
    When four wheelers can run on gas officially by carrying a gas cylinder in the car's luggage area, what is harm if a big coach carry few gas cylinders with necessary precaution. The car gets the jerk more than the train on the humpy and bumpy roads and is very dangerous. Has anyone thought about this while thinking about the pantry car carrying the gas cylinders. ,

    No life without Sun

  • #603945
    The matter is really serious. There are clear-cut instructions that explosives like gas cylinders cannot be carried on railways.Is the instruction meant for common man only and not applicable to the railway staff? I do agree that the pantry cars take good precautions but an accident is always an accident and it can happen any time and at any place.
    I have read a story of the famous scientist Thomas Alva Edison. As a boy, he used to sell newspapers etc. in the train. Since he had a curious mind and loved to do scientific experiments, he had set up a small laboratory in a train where he used chemicals for his experiments. Once, due to the jerking of the train, some of the chemicals mixed up causing a small fire. When the matter came to the knowledge of the authorities, he was forced to close the laboratory.
    In comparison to chemicals, gas cylinders are more dangerous and can cause fire even after taking up all sorts of precautions. Therefore, the railways should take serious note of the issue and do the needful at the earliest to save the commuters from impending dangers.

    I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.

  • #603949
    Nomita Mitra,
    Railways maintain a standard for the passengers' safety and security. They take care of the public for their safe journey and hot food served through the pantry. All agree that adequate precaution has been taken by the railways to allow gas cylinders in the pantry car. As per my knowledge, there was no rail accident/mishap due to gas cylinders placed in the pantry cars.

    The cylinder provided in a pantry is under the responsible railway care, whereas a cylinder carried by a passenger is under the careless/irresponsible/care free passenger care which will be dangerous.

    No life without Sun

  • #603954
    Pantry car is required in long distance trains. Explosives are very dangerous but they are required for mining. Are we stop using for mining also. No. We have to use them under the supervision of a qualified person and proper account of explosives received, consumed and balance quantity is to be maintained properly. All safety precautions decided by the authorities from time time to be implemented. As long as they are following all the prescribed rules and precautions authorities will allow using them.
    Similarly for cooking food gas is required. So railways has to use them in pantry car. Everybody knows that there are gas cylinders in pantry car. Railway has developed some strict rules and regulations to use these gas cylinders in pantry cars. From time to time the railway authorities will inspect these cars and see that all prescribed conditions are met. If any rectification work is to be carried out they will do that and then only the pantry car will be attached to train.

    But if all the passengers are allowed to carry gas cylinders we don't know who is carrying and how many are there in the compartments and what are the conditions of those cylinders. So they are not allowing.
    But in pantry car everybody know how many cylinders are there, theircondition and they will be under the competent persons to deal.
    So I think it is not very serious as long as all safety issues are followed properly.

    always confident

  • #603956
    These materials like gas cylinder are kept in the train as per the safety and security regulations of railways. We may not be aware of those rules and regulations but in every industry and every service department there are stringent rules to be observed for the safety of workers as well as customers so that is true for railways also.

    The question has been asked in good spirit as a curiosity and I think it has been well answered and explained by the members. I myself have learned many things from this post.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #603958
    A recent CAG report mentioned that "the policy of slowly switching over to electric power equipment from gas burners in pantry cars in order to avoid any occurrence of fire accidents inside the trains was not followed". The statement says that there is danger of fire accidents due to gas burners in the pantry cars.

  • #603960
    A very good and well explained clarification indeed. But the irony is, nobody follows the rules. The pantry cars attached to a running train is manned by some catering staff only and if anything happens on a running train at a remote area, who will come to the rescue?
    The concern shown in the report of the CAG cannot be overruled. After all, they prepare their reports based on the reports of some experts in the field and it should be taken in the right spirit.

    I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.

  • #603978
    Sun please note that gas fitted in the car would risk only four lives in case of fire hazard. Whereas when a fire mishap takes place in a train, it will be inferno and all the coaches can catch fire at once due to speed of the train and air velocity. So we cannot compare the fire in car with that of fire in a train. Moreover if any fire mishap in car is noticed, it can be stopped at once and even the occupiers can be asked to ran away far. But a running train cannot be stopped forthwith and by the time it notices the fire and stops the damage would been extensive in terms of lives and damage of properties.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #603998
    Mr. Mohan,
    All train coaches including the pantry car has the provision to alarm the engine driver to stop the train when such thing occurs. So far, there was no such inferno in India due to carriage of gas cylinders in pantry car. According to me, there is no danger to the passengers due to the pantry gas cylinders.

    All vehicles run on fuel which is flammable are dangerous if not cared. Same is the case with gas cylinders in a pantry car. Even carrying a match box may cause serious damage if mishandled without care. Everything is dangerous in this world, if not cared.

    No life without Sun

  • #604000
    All such organisations or peoples which are given special privillages specially on a public platform like this are most of the times given after considering all pros and cons, precautions and to facilitate common public and there is whole team their to take responsiblity for any damages .
    And such instructions are for common public who don't always consider security and cautions before taking such things if there were no instructions.
    And no one will take responsiblity in case some haxardous situation comes when common public is allowed to carry such things.
    So such privillages are given with much responsiblities and considering all such possiblities.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #604001
    The pantry car in a train is a specially designed and constructed coach with the kitchen provision. It is not a passenger coach having 72 births with cushion seats. The items held in the pantry car cannot catch fire easily. Utmost care has been taken in designing the pantry car to be used with gas burners ensuring 100 percent safety and security.
    The railway order is - Do not carry inflammable materials while travelling. It is a warning to the common public not to the railway pantry staff.

    No life without Sun

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