New Delhi: Train travel is set to become a lot safer and faster with the railways planning to install an indigenous technology called Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) which will help prevent train accidents while enabling the state-run transporter to run more trains on the same track.
The new technology, which could facilitate driver-less train operation in future, is the first of its kind in the world and will cost very little.
“TCAS is economical and will cost only Rs.10-12 lakh per km to implement,” said Kulbhushan, Member (Electrical) in the Railway Board, adding that the system was cheaper and far more effective than the Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) and anti-collision device (ACD) which were tried by the railways earlier.
He said similar technology used by Delhi Metro costs around Rs.100 crore per km.
TCAS can read signals up to a distance of three km and intimate the driver about the location of signal, station and trains in the area. The information to the engine will be disseminated via radio communication system linking the train to the station and other trains in the vicinity.
The technology will help the driver view the signal from his cabin through a monitor, and also advise the loco pilot on increasing or decreasing train speed depending on location of another train on the same track.
One of its significant features is the availability of an emergency button which the driver can use in the event of a potential mishap, bringing all trains in its vicinity to a halt. In case of any failure on the part of the driver, such as jumping the signal, the station master can also stop the train.
Even if the communication systems installed at stations fail, loco drivers of trains in a 3-km radius will remain in contact.
While claiming that TCAS was the best available technology and the entire world was keenly watching it, Bhushan said the railways would patent the technology. He contended that TCAS, which has all the features of ACD and TPWS, was much better than the systems used in Europe, China and Japan.
The technology will also help in safe running of trains during foggy weather conditions.
Railways is confident of introducing the system across the network as TCAS has shown positive results during its pilot run on the 250-km Lingampalli-Vikarabad-Wadi-Bidar section of South Central Railways.
Three firms have been awarded the tender to roll out the technology which has been indigenously developed by Research Designs and Standard Organization.