How do loco pilots get access to toilets when they need it while in journey?
Until 2016, the Indian Railway Locomotives did not had the toilet facility. The Loco-Pilots, along with their Assistants had to wait till the train halts at a station to use the toilet. During emergency, some Loco-Pilots and Assistant Loco-Pilots used to use a polythene bag for the toilet and dispose it, when the train reaches the next halt.
During the training period in Indian Railways, me and my batch-mates were going through the training at Moula-Ali Diesel Loco Shed, which takes care of the overhauling and maintenance of the Diesel Locos. We came to know that the Locos do not have the toilet facilities.
We usually have the Q&A sessions with the instructors, as part of the training session. During one of such training sessions, one of my batch-mate asked the instructor about “Why was the toilet facilities not provided in the locos?”. Don’t know how true was that, but the answer given by the instructor was a shocker for us. If the Loco had a toilet, there is a possibility that the LP or The ALP may take rest/sleep inside the toilet, in the name of using it for loo, which makes the other driver left alone in the driver’s cabin. This is the reason why the Locos did not had toilets. Imagine how their situation would be if they were suffering from Diarrhea.
After a long fight from the Railway Employees Union, the toilets were introduced in the Locos in the 2016–17 Railway Budget. The first Loco with the Toilet facility was launched on May 6th, 2016.
The first Loco with a toilet has an Air Conditioned Vaccuum Toilet.
Written By – Yashwant Kumar.