Indian Railways may introduce GPS systems in trains @ 2013

Indian Railways have made an announcement that the trains may soon get real-time GPS tracking system to avoid accidents. According to the sources, the real time GPS tracking system will be integrated with Google Maps and will be accessible through range of mobile devices & computers.

The technology arm of Indian Railways, the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), has developed a GPS-based solution with help of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which can provide exact location of a train with an accuracy of 10 metres, and latency of 2 minutes, on a real-time basis. As per reports, the price of GPS devices will be approximately Rs 70,000 – 1, 00,000 per train, would be fitted in about 100 trains, which may help avert collisions and avoid loss of lives. In affect, trains in future will be aware of each other’s location, and start breaking, in case of danger ahead.

V A Chopra, MD, CRIS, stated that “The government’s focus is to minimize the number of accidents and installation of real-time monitoring service on all trains by the end of 2013, which would contribute in improving the monitoring”. “In future, the controller will only plan the running and scheduling of trains instead of coordinating with various other stations to confirm the status of the trains,” added Chopra.

Passengers may also be available to see real-time locations, as CRIS has integrated the GPS app with Google maps. ISRO’s INSAT-3C satellite will assist in location of moving trains. The GPS system can give an accuracy of about 10 metres, with a lag of about 2 minutes. However, CRIS aims to shorten the distance to about 3 metres, the average distance between two gauge lines, a critical factor that can prevent accidents if a train on another line is derailing.

Success of the GPS-based system may help Railways in running trains at high speed. The GPS application will also assist in better planning of train schedules, especially in bad weather. A pilot project has already started between Chennai and Tambaram railway stations, where about 364 suburban train services have been scheduled successfully with the GPS devices. CRIS plans to allocate around Rs 70 crore to the project.
     Last year, Indian Railways had announced the project Satellite Imaging for Rail Navigation (SIMRAN) jointly with IIT-Kanpur for a similar tracking portal, which is currently in pilot stage with several trains including Rajdhani and Shatabdi.

The facility to track train movements will soon be available on Indianrailways. gov.in.