Upgraded signalling system could get Indian Railway services on track

The system will help the railways gauge probable and predictable problems before they occur, like derailment, and keep a watch. Pic for representation
The system will help the railways gauge probable and predictable problems before they occur, like derailment, and keep a watch. Pic for representation

Indian Railways has world's busiest network, but those in developed nations are technologically far better. Hence, it's creating a monitoring system to manage the signals, track circuits, and points that are essential for efficient train operations.

At the moment, when there's a signal failure on the suburban section, the signal goes red. Authorities realise the glitch only after 10 minutes. So, by the time they manage to fix it, there are delays of over 40 minutes.

A much-needed upgrade
The railways is taking the help of the Network Rail in London, UK, to set up an upgraded signalling system called 'Remote Condition Monitoring' (RCM).

This was announced by the Railway Board's top boss for signalling and telecommunication, Akhil Agrawal, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) yesterday.

The monitoring room will give live feeds of the condition of signals and their equipment next to the rail tracks. At present, the Train Monitoring System gives live updates of only local trains on a screen to the authorities. The RCM will be on similar lines and will map the signal poles along the railway lines, and relay them through a screen.

This system will monitor the health of signals and equipment, check for current (electricity) flow to points, which assists trains to cross over from one track to the other, and voltage fluctuations in track circuits that synchronise the signals with the trains.

"There is a shortage of staff, and it is difficult to attend to issues and faults, especially at night. This system will help us to send the staff directly to the location, whenever needed," said Agrawal.

In simple words, the RCM will help the railways to gauge the probable and predictable problems before they occur and keep a watch on the same.
One for the city?

"This system is being tested on the Delhi-Ambala section and could be replicated on Mumbai suburban too," added Agrawal.

The railways claimed that this system could also work for a congested network like that of the Mumbai Suburban, where 2,900 services in total operate everyday on both Western and Central Railways.

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