AI will help engineers and inspectors organise and analyse data collected about specific tunnels.
For the first time, the railways will use artifical intelligence to control air circulation, signages and even supervision and maintenance work in the 10.28 km-long tunnel in Imphal as part of its 110 km railway line from Jiribam to Manipur’s capital city. While the national transporter is already using this technique to detect flaws or problems in the signalling system on a real-time basis and rectifying it in order to avoid possible delays and mishaps, this is the first time that such a technology will be used in a tunnel in the country.
“The system will control air circulation in the system, along with other aspects. It will alert the passenger in case of fire and help us in quick evacuation in case of any issue. This tunnel is specially unique as it also has a safety tunnel at every 500 meters,” said Yogesh Verma, deputy chief, construction, Northeast Frontier Railway. “So, in case of an accident or any mishap, all a passenger has to do is go 500 meters into the safety tunnel and through signages find his way out. The entire thing will be controlled by artifical intelligence,” Verma said. This tunnel is one of 47 such tunnels in the Jiribam-Imphal line and part of the railways’ project to bring connectivity to the capital city.
The system will continuously monitor signals, track circuits, axle counters and their sub-systems of interlocking, power supply systems, including the voltage and current levels, relays, timers – collect the data on a pre-determined interval and send them to a central location. While it will help run trains safely through the tunnel, it will also help its management and maintenance. As tunnels deteriorate, officials said, they become more dangerous to the public and more costly to repair.
By properly maintaining these tunnels, much of this unnecessary danger and cost can be avoided. AI will help engineers and inspectors organise and analyse data collected about specific tunnels. The results of this data can then be evaluated and used to predict future tunnel deterioration patterns and corresponding maintenance needs, officials said. This system will also be used in the Hyderabad, Mumbai and Ahmedabad metros.