Railways Laws For Solo Female Travellers Everyone Should Know

New Delhi: Women often don’t feel safe while travelling alone in trains. Given the rate of sexual harassment on trains they have enough reason to feel unsafe. There is very little awareness about the Indian Railway’s laws to protect single women passengers, as detailed in Section 139 of the Indian Railways Act 1989.

Enacted in 1989, these laws specifically safeguard single women passengers, particularly those accompanied by children.

According to Indian Railways regulations, if a teenage girl or woman travels alone without a ticket, the Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) cannot eject her from the train. The woman can pay the fine and continue her journey. Even in cases where the woman cannot pay the fine, the TTE is not permitted to remove her from the compartment.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) launched a pan-India initiative called ‘Meri Saheli’ on October 17, 2020, to enhance safety and security for female passengers travelling by train from boarding to disembarking.

The initiative focuses on providing security, especially to solo female passengers.

Here are some key passenger rules every woman travelling alone should know:

  • A woman can only be asked to leave the train if accompanied by a lady constable.
  • Boys under 12 years old are allowed to travel in women’s compartments according to Section 162.
  • Any male entering a women’s coach can face legal prosecution.
  • Military personnel are prohibited from entering ladies’ compartments under Section 311 of the Indian Railways Act 1989.
  • Six berths are reserved for women in long-distance Mail/Express train sleeper class, as well as six berths in third-tier AC (3AC) coaches of Garib Rath/Rajdhani/Duronto/fully air-conditioned Express trains. This reservation is regardless of age or whether travelling alone or in a group.
  • Indian Railways has improved women’s safety by installing CCTV cameras and station monitoring rooms.

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