Upgrading Signaling system of Indian Railways to boost Safety

Signaling System enhances safety in Train operations. To improve the Safety of Train operations, the Modernisation of Signalling System has been taken up. The different measures undertaken by Indian Railways is as follows:

Provision of Electronic Interlocking (EI) to increase Safety and Flexibility: Electronic Interlocking is being adopted on a large scale to derive benefits of digital technologies in train operation and to enhance safety. So far 2221 stations have been provided with Electronic Interlocking up to 30th April 2021, covering 34% of Indian Railways.

A policy decision has also been taken to provide Electronic Interlocking (EI) in the future. Further, 1550 Electronic Interlockings are planned to be provided in the next 3 years. This will enhance the Safety and Efficiency of Train operations.

Automatic Block Signalling (ABS) to increase Line Capacity – In order to increase line capacity to run more trains on existing High-Density Routes of Indian Railways, Automatic Block Signaling is a cost-effective solution. As of 30th April 2021, Automatic Block Signaling has been provided on 3447 Route km of tracks.

Indian Railways has planned roll-out of Automatic signaling system on around 15000 Rkm of High-density and Freight-intensive routes. With the implementation of Automatic signaling, an increase in capacity results in more train services becoming possible.

Safety at Level Crossing gates – Enhancing Safety at Level Crossing Gates has been a major area of concern. Safety gets enhanced by interlocking level crossings with Signals. As of 30th April 2021, Indian Railways has provided Interlocking with Signals at 11705 Level Crossing Gates to enhance the safety at Level Crossings.

Automatic Train Protection (ATP) System as an aid to Loco Pilot to prevent Human error – ATP systems are being used by advanced Railway systems in the world as an aid to the Loco Pilots. These systems prevent collisions due to any human error by Loco Pilot.

Indian Railways has successfully developed indigenous cost-effective technology for Automatic Train Protection called Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). The rollout of TCAS will eliminate train collisions due to human error and enhance the speed potential of railways thereby reducing travel time.

Upgrading Signaling system: Implementation of LTE technology

Indian Railways has envisaged providing Long Term Evolution (LTE) based Mobile Train Radio Communication on its route. The government has approved the allotment of 5 MHz Spectrum in 700 MHz frequency band for public safety. The estimated investment in the project is more than ₹25,000 Crore. The project will be completed in the next 5 years.

The purpose of the LTE for Indian Railways is to provide Secure and Reliable voice, Video, and Data communication services for Operational, Safety, and Security applications of Railways. It will be used for:

  • Deployment of Modern Cab-based Signalling System with Automatic Train Protection which will increase safety in train operation.
  • Mission Critical Voice Communication with seamless connectivity in train operations between Driver, Guard, Station Master, Train Traffic Controller & Maintenance staff.
  • Monitoring Limited Video Surveillance (Live Feed) through CCTV cameras in Trains to enhance passenger security.
  • Passenger Information Systems (PIS) in Trains & at stations.

In addition to the LTE initiative, Other major initiatives in Railway Telecom are:

  • Wi-Fi facility has been extended at 6002 stations. Ans it will be extended to the rest of the 101 stations soon. Out of which 70% stations are of rural area. 
  • To improve security CCTV System has been provided at 801 stations.
  • 92% Route of the Railway has been covered with OFC based system (62,205 RKm). This is being used for Railway’s internal communication and spare capacity is being commercially utilized by Railtel Corporation of India (RCIL).
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