Despite repeated fire incidents in trains, railways is yet to install automatic fire alarm system in a majority of long-distance services.
26 passengers were charred to death in an AC coach in the Bangalore-Nanded Express. Earlier, a fire in the Tamil Nadu Express had claimed 32 lives.
Seven persons were burnt to death in November, 2011 when a coach of Howrah-Dehradun Express train caught fire. Later, the fire spread to another coach and both the coaches were badly burnt. Three coaches of Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express had caught fire near Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh on April 18, 2011.
New Delhi-Patna Rajdhani Express' generator coach caught fire on the outskirts in New Delhi Railway Station in July, 2011. The automatic smoke/ fire detection alarm system is being planned for air-conditioned coaches of all Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Garib Rath and Duranto trains but so far it has been installed in two Rajdhani trains.
Currently, Secunderabad Rajdhani and Bhubaneswar Rajdhani have the system which is equipped to detect smoke and fire at the earliest and ring the alarm.
It costs about Rs 35 lakh to install a fire alarm system in a train.