Indian railway travellers can sleep easier, now that the budget has allocated Rs 2,726 crores for safety measures. According to a report by Indiatimes, 35 cases of rail accidents were reported in the past year alone, and with the 2018 budget, the government is looking to secure railways as much as possible.
So, where will this Rs 2726 crore go?
The government will focus on reducing its reliance on manual inspection and improve the quality of the tracks they lay.
Introducing new techniques like automatic track-cum-video inspection systems, they hope to increase the safety of the railways.
In conversation with The Indian Express, a Railway Ministry official said, “Now the focus is to shift from the manual method to state-of-the-art technology like the automatic track geometry-cum-video inspection system to detect defects. It is a proven technology and operational worldwide, including in Germany and Britain.”
Here is a breakdown of the kinds of machines you can expect to see on the tracks, and what they will do:
1) The 16 video inspection systems are set to be installed under the last coach or guard’s van of Rajdhani trains, which will be recorded and sent to officials who can assess them efficiently, and take the necessary steps to fix any damages detected.
2) 12 vehicular USFD (Ultrasonic Flaw Detection) systems will be used to analyse tracks, detecting any major safety violations that require immediate attention.
3) For removing minute cracks on the tracks, the government has obtained eight rail grinding machines. Track maintenance will also be assisted by deploying 40 accelerometers, designed to detect any unevenness on the rails.
4) 30 ballast regulating 20 ballast cleaning machines. The ballast is the base upon which tracks are laid and is designed to bear weight, as well as facilitate drainage of water. The ballast regulating machines allocated allow for shaping and controlling the gravel distribution, while the ballast cleaning machine will remove the dirty or worn parts of the track, and replace them with fresh ballast.
Other parts of the allocation will go towards automated multifunction track recording cars, which will be used for maintenance systems. With these additions to the railways, the government hopes to reduce rail accidents and guarantee improved safety to all its passengers.