Black box for Trains: Indian Railways’ new system to help find cause of accidents

Indian Railways has started installing Loco cab audio-video recording system (LCAVR)/Crew Voice/Video Recording System (CVVRS) in diesel locomotives as well as electric locomotives. The devices are similar to the black box that is used in aircraft.These devices will be used to record the activity in the driver’s compartment of a train which will help identify the reasons behind a train accident and ascertain the operational issues and element of human error.

NEW DELHI: Air travel is statistically the safest method of transport, but aircrafts still have an orange-coloured apparatus called the black box. In the event of an air crash, this black box provides the information as to why the accident came to pass, and insight into steps required to prevent such incidences in the future. Going by the same principle, the Indian Railways has decided to introduce a device similar to the airplanes’ black box into its trains.

In a bid to enhance safety for its passengers, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is taking several steps. One of these moves includes setting up devices in order to record the sequence of events in case of any accidents. Recently, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, the Minister of State of Railways, Rajen Gohain stated that the national transporter has started installing Loco cab audio-video recording system (LCAVR)/Crew Voice/Video Recording System (CVVRS) in diesel locomotives as well as electric locomotives. The devices are similar to the black box that is used in aircraft.

These devices will be used to record the activity in the driver’s compartment of a train which will help identify the reasons behind a train accident and ascertain the operational issues and element of human error, a statement by the Ministry of Railways said. The ministry has already started installing the system in diesel and electric locomotive cabs.

“Similar to Black Box, Indian Railway has started installing Loco cab audio video recording system (LCAVR)/ Crew Voice/Video Recording System (CVVRS) in Diesel and Electric locomotives. This system provides invaluable data to investigators which will help them in understanding the sequence of events leading up to an accident and for identifying operational issues and human factors,” Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain told the Lok Sabha yesterday.

According to the Railway Ministry, this system provides invaluable data to investigators. Moreover, it helps them in understanding the sequence of events leading up to a train accident and for identifying operational issues as well as human factors. Gohain also stated that so far as many as 26 locomotives, out of which 23 are diesel and the rest 3 are electric locomotives, have been fitted with LCAVRs/ CVVRSs by Indian Railways. He also informed that an amount of Rs 100.40 crore has been sanctioned by the government in the Union Budget 2018-2019 for the acquisition of as many as 3500 LCVR/ CVVRS devices. So far, 23 diesel locomotives and 3 electric ones have been installed with LCAVRs/CVVRSs. A total of 3,500 trains are to be fitted with their black box for a budget of Rs 100.40 crore during this fiscal, Gohain said before the Parliament.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State of Railways also mentioned that in the month of June this year, one smart coach has been turned out from Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli. Moreover, such smart coaches are being planned for 5 rakes, which are to be manufactured at Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli. The smart coach has been built on the LHB-platform and has been equipped with state-of-the-art sensors as well as a centralized computer that in turn monitors all the sensors. The smart coaches, that are being manufactured under Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, aims to provide world-class facilities to railway passengers with the help of an intelligent sensor-based system.

Train accidents have been a longstanding concern for the largest transportation network in the country. Back in October this year, around 60 people were mowed down by a train in Amritsar as a crowd watching a burning Raavan effigy spilled onto the railway tracks. Initially, the blame was laid on the driver for not warning the people standing on the tracks. Later probe by the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety said that the incident occurred due to the carelessness of the people.

 

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