Signal and Telecommunication Workshop, Podanur turns 60

Signal and Telecommunication Workshop (S&T Workshop), Southern Railway in Podanur (CBE)

PODANUR: The basic function of Signalling and Telecommunication in Railway System is to ensure safe and speedy train movements on the track.  With the advancement of Science, Signal & Telecommunication systems also progressed from Mechanical to Electro-mechanical and Electronics by adopting new state-of-art technologies to ensure safety of train movements at ever increasing speeds in shortest possible time limits to optimize the use of Line Capacity.  

The evolution of S & T Workshop over the past 60 years is an indication of the progress made by Indian Railways in the field of modernization of Signalling Systems to cater the needs of the ever expanding railway organization.  S & T Workshop / Podanur has now completed 60 Glorious years of existence and is resolved to march ahead to reach new heights of productivity.

Brief History of the Workshop 

S&T Workshop, which was functioning as a small Repair Unit at Golden Rock / Tiruchchirappalli was shifted to Podanur on 09.04.1958 with a staff strength of 60.  

Initially, this Workshop was engaged in the manufacture of various Mechanical Signalling Items, i.e., Control Panels, Lever Frames and Lever Lock Circuit Controllers.  

Besides this, Overhauling and Repair of Reversers, Single Line Block Instruments, Control Phones and Control Selectors were also being carried out.  

There was also a small laboratory attached to this Workshop to carry out developmental activities mainly in Telecom sector.  Since then, this Workshop has progressed in leaps & bounds and has become a pioneer in the Manufacture of Signalling Equipments in the Indian Railways.

The major shift in the Workshop’s activities from Repair and Overhauling of the Signal & Telecommunication Equipments to the manufacturing sphere happened over the years from 1968 to 1977 with the expansion of infrastructure and in-house development of new Signalling Products viz. Electrical Signal Machine, Electrical Signal Reverser, SGE Type Double Line Block Instrument, Single Line Token Less Block Instrument, Combined Type GRS 5E Point Machine, etc.

Besides this, during this decade, manufacturing of ‘Q’ Relays with technology transfer from M/s. Westinghouse Brake & Signal/London and Shelf Type Relays with technology transfer from M/s. Indian Telephone Industries/Bangalore were undertaken.  With the manufacturing of vital Signalling Relays, this Workshop became the supplier to the entire Indian Railways.

In the year 1978, this Workshop started production of Electronic Axle Counters and in the year 1995-96, this Workshop started the production of Universal Axle Counters and IRS Rotary Locking Type Point Machine as per the design of RDSO, LUCKNOW.  Now, this Workshop is set to manufacture Single Section Digital Axle Counters and Universal Fail Safe Block Interfaces also from this year.