Railways developing backup for Signalling System to avoid another Itarsi

IRSTE SeminarIndian Railways is developing a backup for signalling system to prevent disruption train services as happened at Itarsi railway station in Madhya Pradesh a few month ago.

A fire at the signal cabin of the Itarsi railway station on June 17 disrupted train services for a month, and around 1,000 trains were affected.

Speaking at a seminar on “Capacity and Safety Enhancement with Modern Signalling” SR general manager Vashishta Johri said on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Institute of Railway Signal and Telecommunication Engineers (IRSTE) here on Friday that such incidents will have huge impact on smooth operations of Railways.

Director General of Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) P K Srivastava said: “We are working on a system that will offer a backup for the entire train movement operation at a railway station. The system will be designed in such a way that it may be easy to transfer data to a laptop or a similar equipment and allow trains to pass through.”

Srivastava said, “The aim is to ensure that at least 90% of the trains are operated when a signal cabin is disabled. The backup will be ready in a month and will be implemented at all stations.”

TVM Signalling and Transportation Systems Pvt Ltd managing director Gopalakrishnan P said, “There are backups system for each functions like signals, electrical interlocking, panels, power supply and others at stations. But there is no backup for the entire train operations at a railway station. We are trying to develop and install one such system.”

Srivastava said that there was immense pressure on railways to enhance line capacity using the existing infrastructure. “It is not easy to add a third line. So we have to improve and modernise signal systems to ensure that more trains can be operated in a safe manner within the existing infrastructure.”

He also said the automatic safety systems like train protection and warning system were important for railways. “We are striving to add capacity to the existing line by modernising the signals. So we need better and modern safety system. We are developing Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) which has features of train protection and warning system also to ensure that technology would have a supervisory role on the loco pilots who drive trains,” he added.

Southern Railway general manager Vashishta Johri said the zone had a modernised signalling system. “The zone has ensured that there was a substantial reduction in failures. The staff need to be guided and coached to improve maintenance,” he added.

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