Satellite-based chip systems by the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) will soon be incorporated on Rajdhani trains.
The system has been developed by the space organization as a measure to warn people about approaching trains especially near unmanned level crossings as well as to track the train movements on a real-time basis.
Starting with the pilot run in Mumbai and Guwahati route trains, the system will incorporate the use of a hooter, which will be triggered through an integrated circuit (IC) chip, as the train is within the 500-metre range of the level crossings.
The hooters will activate as the train approaches a level crossing, and will become silent once the train crosses.
The ISRO-developed chip installed on the locomotives will not only help alert the people on the roads but the train pilots as well.
According to NDTV, a senior Railway Ministry official associated with the project mentioned that the hooters would be placed at 20 unmanned level crossings spread across the chosen Rajdhani routes.
Apart from safeguarding people from the unmanned level crossings, the chip will also help keep a real-time track on the train’s movements, which was previously done manually.
More trains will reportedly follow suit in a phased manner.
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This move comes with great significance to the fact that close to 10,000 unmanned railway crossings still function in the country, amounting to around 40% of rail-related accidents.
“While the Railways have eliminated 1,148 unmanned crossings in 2014-15 and 1,253 in 2015-16, it has scaled up its target and now plans to eliminate all such crossings in the next 2 to 3 years,” the official added.
The new arrangement will also prove beneficial to the Indian Railways in mapping the region, coming in handy during accidents where exact location of trains and the topography pertaining to it could be ascertained.