Why Height above sea level written on the board of railway station?

    Ever wondered why altitude above sea level is always written on yellow signs at railway stations while traveling? And it is certain that you must have seen yellow signs on railway stations mentioning the name of the railway station in English, Hindi and a local language. The name as well as the height of the station above sea level is also mentioned in many languages.

    Indian railway network is one of the largest railway network in the world. At every station on the Indian Railways you can find a station master’s office and inquiry centres. Railways has also issued a helpline number, 139, for any complaints during their journey. But, every passenger at least once looks at the yellow signboards at the beginning and end of the railway station to find out how long their journey is going to be or at which station they have reached.

    Looking at the name of the station, you must have seen the figures mentioning the height of the station above sea level. The reason for prominently writing the height of the station above sea level as Mean Sea Level (MSL) is for the safety of all passengers arriving in trains of Indian Railways. Now you must be wondering how the mention of MSL is related to the safety of the passengers. MSL directly alerts the loco pilots (train drivers) and guards about the altitude at which they are traveling.

    A loco-pilot controls the speed of the train with the help of MSL. If the train is moving towards a higher altitude then the loco-pilots provide the engine-according power for the smooth running of the trains. Indian Railways had stopped its passenger service from March 2020 after the announcement of complete lockdown to prevent and break the chain of corona situation in the country.

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