WR installs Biometric Crew Management System, upgrades its check on Loco Pilots

Mumbai: The Western Railway on Monday installed a biometric Crew Management System (CMS) as part of its infrastructure, which also includes a breathe-analyser and a web camera, to keep a check on its loco pilots (motormen for long-distance trains), assistant loco pilots and guards. The plan was in the pipeline for a while, but after the recent Churchgate accident, the procedure was speeded up, according to officials.

The motorman in the Churchgate mishap, where the train’s rake crashed into a platform, has tested negative for the alcohol test. However, officials say it is time that a monitoring mechanism is put in place. Officials say the biometric CMS, camera and breathe analyser together will help in ascertaining the precise status of the train staff. It will provide scientific data, without needing manual intervention, they add. Currently, the loco pilots, whose trains ply through the western tracks, get their breathe analysed at Vasai railway station which has the only CMS. “It was developed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) in the year 2005 and was installed around two years ago at Vasai,” said an official. With an upgraded infrastructure now installed in Bandra, the data will be available in live time, said officials. Also, it will be available from the starting point of the train, instead of from a halt that the staff otherwise have to take for the data to be recorded.

The Western Railway now plans to expand the upgraded infrastructure to Mumbai Central, Vasai, Dahanu, Valsad, Udhana, Surat and Nandurbar. It will be utilised by 700 loco-pilots of long-distance trains and 400 Westen Railway motormen. “It has a wide screen and the motorman has to log in with his or her depot name, bearing name of the station along with a four-digit number. After feeding the data, the officer needs to put his palm on the screen. The loco-pilot has to correctly feed the data, give his identity and get his breath checked by the analyser which is placed on the right side of the machine. The loco pilot will be considered fit to take the train after he gets a ‘BT clear’ message from the machine,” said a loco-pilot, on the condition of anonymity. “If this KIOSK of CMS does not clear the motorman, he cannot report to duty and needs to meet the supervisor, “ said a source. “The biometric CMS is leveraging technology for better efficiency and will be certainly saving time consumed. It is going to be installed very soon for the entire Indian Railway system,” said a Western Railway spokesperson.