30 Nov 2017
You can now track train's real-time location using GPS
In a move that is expected to overhaul operations, the Railways is experimenting with a system to allow passengers to track trains in real time.
Under the real-time punctuality monitoring and analysis (RPMA), a GPS-enabled device will be fitted in locomotives.
The technology will boost punctuality, accuracy and safety as well as reduce the load on the current manual system.
Know all about it.
At present, the job has to be done manually
Presently, employees use the manual national train enquiry system (NTES) to track train movement.
When a train passes by a station, the station master informs the train controller, who in turn manually inputs the time into the system. This then gets reflected in the NTES database.
However, officials often manipulate actual timings to avoid punishment in case of delays and maintain a good record.
The RPMA experiment proved successful for many reasons
The RPMA was tested in the Mughalsarai division in October. Maps of India was taken into collaboration.
"The system keeps plotting trains on maps and speed charts," said Mughalsarai DRM Kishor Kumar.
Officials termed it a success: apart from checking train movement, it provided other crucial details like whether they ran at maximum speed, if they stopped more than necessary and even speedometer errors.
Do you know?
It even helped analyze driver and guard behavior!
RPMA also helped officials analyze drivers/guards, including whether drivers exercised extra control at cautions. Based on such information, Railways assessed them on a scale of one to 10. In the Mughalsarai test run, "Five drivers scored nine and were rewarded with ~5,000 each," Kumar said.
ISRO too helping railways avoid accidents, provide real-time updates
Railways has also roped in ISRO to check accidents at unmanned crossings. For this, ISRO has installed ICs on engines and hooters at crossings.
The hooter, linked to a satellite system, is activated as soon as an IC reaches within 500m-4km of it. It will keep getting louder as the train nears.
The same technology will help provide people real-time updates about train movement.
Railways has earned an additional Rs. 1,579.22cr this year
Indian Railways, the world's fourth-largest rail network, runs 12,000 passenger trains and carries 23mn passengers daily.
In a significant development, it has registered an increase of 50mn passengers this year during April-November, an increase of roughly 1% over the corresponding period in 2016.
It led to additional earnings of Rs. 1,579.22cr.
Such technologies are expected to increase reliability and thus boost revenues even further.