New Delhi: An American company has been shortlisted for developing the design for crashworthy locomotive for Indian Railways and subsequently testing the prototype in real-crash scenario.

As part of an enhanced safety measure, Railways have decided to manufacture crashworthy locomotives involving cutting-edge technology.

The loco collisions scenarios include collisions with another locomotive, the rear of another train, or a highway vehicle at a level crossing.

"The front portion of locomotive will collapse and absorb energy in case of collision in the proposed crashworthy locomotive and as a result protects the occupants from serious injuries or fatalities," said a senior RITES official, adding "the aim is to protect the loco pilots from fatality and serious injuries in case of train collisions."

ITES, a subsidiary of Railways, has been entrusted with the project, estimated to cost about Rs 25 crores.

As part of the project, the crashworthy design for retro fitment in existing diesel locomotives will also be developed and standardized. There are about 8,000 diesel locomotives.

The crashworthy locomotive project involves modern technology and an American transportation research and testing organization, which provides emerging technology solutions for the Railway industry throughout the world, is being shortlisted for it through bidding.  Crashworthy locomotives have been operational in the US and Europe Rail systems.

"Since the crashworthiness standards are intended to help protect locomotive cab occupants in the event of a collision, locomotive crashworthiness protection is necessary for Railways," the official said.

He said the Railway Ministry is to finalize the arrangement for the work in the project to begin.

RITES has already completed a project for incorporating crashworthy features in train coaches. "We have completed the first phase of crashworthy coaches and the second phase will be launched soon," he said.

Railways have initiated a series of measures including installing anti-collision device and train protection warning system in a bid to prevent accidents.