Trimble launches Railway solutions portfolio in India

BANGALORE: Trimble Solutions India, a subsidiary of US-based Trimble Inc. has launched its global Railway Solutions portfolio in India. The Trimble Railways portfolio is industry-leading and covers the end-to-end railways lifecycle, from planning through construction, maintenance and operations to safety.

The company has launched products like Trimble Rail Asset Lifecycle Management, SurfView, GEDO CE and Beena Vision targeted at Indian railways and urban metro rail projects in over 20 cities across India.

Announcing the launch, Tomas Larsson, general manager for Trimble Rail, said, “We believe our cutting-edge tech-enabled products can play a meaningful role in the ongoing transformation of Indian railways, helping the organisation achieve its key goals of launching high-speed trains, enhancing passenger safety and operational efficiency. Further, as India progressively adopts metro rail networks for urban transportation, we are ready with solutions that can help plan, design and construct these projects faster and within costs, and operate them for maximum efficiency and safety.”

The Indian Railways in 2017 outlined a plan to invest Rs 8.56 lakh crore in the five years leading to 2022. Of this investment, Rs 1.93 lakh crore are set aside for network expansion, Rs 127,000 crore for safety, and Rs 5,000 crore for IT and research. Another Rs 65,000 crore are earmarked for high-speed rail and elevated corridor, with the goal of introducing high-speed trains at 350 kmph from the current high speed of 160 kmph. The railways has also launched an ambitious ‘zero fatality’ safety initiative with the goal of reducing railway accidents by 66%[1], earmarking Rs 7,500 crore for this initiative. The newly introduced portfolio of Trimble products can serve as a driving force for the Indian Railway system in achieving these goals.

In terms of metro rail networks, India had eight operational metros in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore as of July 2017; while over two dozen more projects are pending approval, in cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, Vijayawada, Indore, Patna, Kanpur and Varanasi. In the last three years, the urban development ministry has sanctioned Rs 30,653.78 crore for various metro rail projects in the country.

Technology solutions will play a major role in the continuing expansion and transformation of India’s rail and metro networks. Trimble’s Railway solutions use integrated processes and workflows for complete railway infrastructure and asset lifecycle management from the infrastructure planning, design, construction, and maintenance phases, to the operation, maintenance, and repair of rail transport assets. The solutions streamline operations to keep projects on time and costs on target; thus enabling India’s metro and railways to meet their expansion and transformation goals on time, and within budget.

The key products launched today are:

Trimble Rail Asset Lifecycle Management solutions that allows for real time remote diagnostic monitoring, engineering maintenance management, RFID and barcode asset tracking through gathering of precise 3D data using mobile mapping and high-speed data acquisition can help railways maintain current, comprehensive information over large areas. Accurate and timely data can provide valuable input into decision and enterprise resource planning.

Trimble Quantm alignment planning solution simplifies and streamlines the complex process of evaluating and selecting transportation corridors and can be used for upcoming freight corridors and metro projects. It optimises route location by integrating engineering, social, economic as well as environmental factors. This not only helps increase the safety and maintenance but also works to reduce cost and risk.
TILOS enables time-location planning and VICO helps estimate time and cost for railway or metro construction projects. Together, these tools help keep the construction within time and cost estimates.

Tekla Structures enables the creation and management of accurately detailed, highly constructable 3D structural models regardless of material or structural complexity. The models over the entire building process from conceptual design to fabrication, erection and construction management. Simply put, Tekla Building Information Model provides a central source of digital information, which can deliver benefits like increased efficiency, reduced errors and optimised costs at every stage of the construction process.

Beena Vision provides vision-based wayside detectors for the rolling stock maintenance market. Its non-contact measurement technology enables highly detailed condition assessment of train components—ranging from wheel surface condition to full train inspection—on trains operating in service and at high speeds. Beena Vision’s wayside systems, coupled with software applications and image analysis technology, allow railway or metro operators to manage their fleet maintenance and operation through automatic measurements and inspections. Real-time alarms, alerts and reports enable significant reductions in maintenance costs and increase fleet availability for revenue generation.

GEDO CE detects motion that may occur in railway structures and adjacent features. Equipped with an inertial measurement unit (IMU), along with scanning and geodetic sensors, the new system can be used to survey railway lines and document all assets along the track. By measuring movement in landforms, bridges, buildings and other objects, monitoring systems can prevent injury and damage during construction and operation of rail lines and facilities. The lightweight trolley system is flexible and offers accurate as-built survey documentation of the track.

SurfView is a vehicle-based rail and track surface imaging system that automates track inspection. It can ensure automated monitoring of railway tracks and can detect all types of anomalies including cracks, missing sleepers or fasteners, thus preventing derailment accidents.

“All these tools can greatly help the Indian Railway’s vision of becoming the engine for India’s economic growth and development by being safe, financially viable, environment friendly and caring for its customers and employees,” Rajan Aiyer, MD Trimble India and SAARC region said.

The Indian Railway system is still quite dependent on manual labour and increased automation is the first step towards its modernisation. “The adoption of Trimble Railway Solutions by leading rail operators around the world, including Eurostar Rail, Irish Rail, Alstom and Virgin among others offers convincing insights on how technology can help dramatically improve railway services and operations,” Rajan added.