With real-time tracking, trains to be more punctual
To increase rail safety levels and to cut down on train delays, Indian Railways will soon start beaming the location of trains on a real-time basis.
At present, a train’s location is updated every eight minutes. The routes on which the real-time location will be reflected first are the Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals – the routes connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai – which account for the maximum traffic. Safety and punctuality have been the two top concerns of train passengers.
“The Centre for Railway Information Services (CRIS) has tied up with ISRO to develop a system to get close to real-time update on trains’ location. This will provide updates every minute,” Mukesh Nigam, Managing Director, CRIS, told BusinessLine.
“This will be first implemented on passenger trains that ply on Railways’ electrified routes on the busy routes of the Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals,” he said.
The only exception in passenger routes will be the Chennai-Mumbai route, which is not yet electrified. “For freight movement, this will also be implemented between Mumbai-Delhi and Howrah-Chennai.These works will be done in Phase I of the CRIS project with ISRO,” he added. The project will improve the services of passenger trains and movement of parcels that are transported via such trains.
Explaining how the new system will work, Nigam said that an antenna would be placed on the locomotive, which would update the locomotive movement to a central server. This, in turn, would be integrated with the National Train Enquiry System (NTES) and other applications.
The NTES is used to disseminate information regarding train timings. It updates data of an individual passenger train every eight minutes .
“At present, station masters inform control offices of the location of trains that pass through their stations; this is then integrated with the NTES,” he said. Railways has almost 7,500 stations manned by station masters round-the-clock; they send information regarding the location of trains to 69 control offices along the network.
The benefits of the project includereal-time tracking of trains and providing inputs for improving train speed. “This will also help in time-tabling of trains. The information will be more granular. The location can be updated every 500 metre or so and, thereby, the speed differentials can be co-related with the topography and track structures more closely,” Nigam said.
“It will also allow the public to be aware of train-location on a real-time basis. It will be very userful in emergency situations such as rains, floods, accident, emergency,” he added.