Indian Railways to utilize ISRO’s Geospatial, Satellite Technologies

Geospatial RailwaysNew Delhi: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today said for using geospatial technology and satellite technology for various operations of Railways, a Memorandum of Understanding will soon be signed between the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) (the IT arm of the Ministry) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Heavy Rail and Light Rail organisations around the world have pioneered the application of geospatial technology (Geographic Information Systems or GIS) to rail infrastructure and operations. Close integration of spatial information with operational systems, like SAP, Maximo and MIMS/Ellipse, has helped engineers and managers gain clearer insight into asset performance and improve the efficiency and safety of operations. Other key business functions include security and incident response, environmental management, noise mapping and control, property and land title management.

Launching three IT initiatives by organising video-conferencing between, Rail Bhawan and New Delhi Station, he said safety and security of passengers was of paramount importance of his ministry.

Railway Infrastructure Managers and Operators are huge property owners, managing very relevant areas of the territory related with railway infrastructures and facilities. Due to historical reasons – railway is a centenary industry – and further developments, within this valuable real estate assets, there are significant possessions in urban and suburban environments associated to lines, railway stations, logistic terminals and interfaces, yards, workshops, etc. Each network, private or public, has its own context (region, history, culture, values, leadership, …), but one thing is quite common among them regarding property and real estate control: information, when it exists, relies on old paper support deposited in “dark” basements of buildings or warehouses and it’s not an easy process to create knowledge from it under this conditions.

When we refer application to railway land assets or generally speaking about the territory, we basically must relate two main variables: property and ownership. Further on, within a railway organization control is quite an important issue to several activities that should be developed over a very same reality: the railway domain. In the year 2013, the General Manager (IT & Communications) of Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) had done extensive study on the need for GIS in Railways and Interfacing the GIS with applications on Indian Railways.  The same can be downloaded here: GIS Base Map SS Mathur

GIS and Railways

Geospatial RailInvesting in current and reliable geodata is rewarding. There are lots of examples where efficiency gain can be attained but also an increase in safety and avoidance of damage to the environment.

The public receive a better service, including the fast availability of substitute transport, shorter incident problem-solving times and prevention planning.

Quality geodata should be a precondition for management in the railway sector and ideally one shouldn’t set up a business case for the improvement of data quality. In different countries there’s attention for BIM and geoinformation in the whole lifecycle of the railway network: from feasibility study, design and construction to the maintenance and management phase that which presents a comprehensive list of railways activities where GIS support have a prominent role.

Railway managers, whether focused on passenger or freight delivery, can use the spatial and analytic components of GIS to efficiently manage assets, maximize throughput, and monitor safety. The ability to share maps and information online improves communication with your stakeholders, including customers empowering entire railways infrastructure life-cycle management.

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