Indian Railways has started the use of a GPS-based electronic lock system on a pilot basis on its goods and parcel trains instead of the conventional system of padlocks and wire seals. The move aims to strengthen the safety and security of its parcel vans and freight wagons.
On a pilot basis, the digital lock system has been introduced in Eastern Railway’s Howrah division. Based on the feedback of the users and customers, the new lock system will be improved further for a larger rollout. The new lock system was attached to the parcel van (four doors) of 12345 Howrah-Guwahati Saraighat Express.
The divisional railway is also in the process to attach the digital lock on one full rake of BCN wagons at its Liluah workshop. Once the wagons are ready, these would be run as an integral rake in a closed circuit by Eastern Railway.
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What is a GPS-based electronic lock?
These locks are fitted with GPS chips to monitor the location as well as the closing and opening status of door locks. The locks are tamper-proof. Currently, electronic locks are being used by various sectors like e-commerce and FMCG for transporting their goods through closed-body trucks on roads.
How does the GPS-based lock work on railways?
The GPS-based lock will be installed on all parcel vans and freight wagons. The vans or wagons will be locked at the originating station by authorized commercial staff through OTP and again unlocked at the destination by authorized commercial staff.
Significance of GPS-based lock system:-
The GPS-based digital lock system will reduce pilferage and theft-related incidents. This will also enhance customer satisfaction. The locks are paired with a particular parcel van serial number or wagon serial number that prevents unauthorized or accidental opening of the locks through the App.
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Cost of GPS-based lock system:-
The cost of the GPS-based lock system per vehicle is around Rs 60,000.
In a statement, Arun Arora, General Manager, Eastern Railway said, “this electronic lock is very effective which enables real-time visibility, tracking and control of transport assets for improved operational efficiency, security and customer satisfaction.”