Tech to prevent train wrecks
India has one of the largest railway systems in the world, serving 20 million passengers a day. However, the present signaling system in Indian Railways seems to have outlived its utility. To say the least, the system is antiquated and under severe pressure due to introduction of new trains and increasing traffic. The spate of accidents is a pointer towards an urgent need for implementation of safety devices that can increase train and passenger safety. No wonder, the Indian Railways is embarking upon indigenous new generation safety devices for fewer accidents and better safety measures.
As a pilot project for the Indian Railways, the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) Lucknow, in collaboration with Hyderabad-based HBL Power Systems, has carried out field trials successfully using a new homegrown train protection system. The Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) is designed to automatically trigger a brake application when a signal is passed at danger.
Trials were conducted recently at Tandur station, in Andhra Pradesh. The TCAS, tested in real-time on a track near Tandur in the South Central Railway zone, demonstrated the effectiveness of the system. The device is based on a combination of railway signalling data with radio communications, global positioning system (GPS), radio frequency identification devices, software and logic. Two trains equipped with the system ran a series of trials.
Following the success of the tests through different terrains, quality analysis and few more extensive trials, RDSO is
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