The railway is conducting trials on an indigenous and cost-effective anti-collision technology, which can help avert accidents that take place due to the driver’s error.
This device could be available on trunk routes in two years.
Indian Railway currently employs Automatic Train Protection System called Train Protection Warning System (TPWS), which is based on European technology.
As of now it is available in just 100 trains because of the high cost factor.
The indigenously-developed technology will cost one-third of the European system and can be installed on much larger number of trains, according to a source.
The new system is called Train Collision Avoidance System.
It will mainly deploy Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags every kilometre on a railway track and a TCAS system at railway station, which will gather data from RFIDs.
A radio tower will transmit this data to the engine of a train and a TCAS computer onboard it will display the data.
TCAS will have two main functions. If an engine exceeds its speed on a certain section then there will be warnings generated for the driver. If the driver fails to respond, the brakes will apply automatically.
Secondly, a train can send an SOS message to another or to a railway station and vice-versa in order to prevent an accident.
The new technology will undergo extensive and rigorous trials before its introduction.
“This involves multiple systems and brakes have to be tested under different speeds, varying conditions, tracks, locomotives and traction and so we will be having intensive trials,” a source in the railway ministry said.
Trials are underway on Lingampalli-Vikarabad-Wadi-Bidar section of Secunderabad Division currently.