The railways on Thursday approved a scheme to track trains through satellite with the twin objective of keeping passengers informed about train movement and reaching information technology to villages.

The scheme was approved after a meeting between Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and chairman of the Expert Committee on Information and Communications Technology Sam Pitroda, who maintained that the project had immense potential to increase the scope of e-governance and link villages with computers.

Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur and Impex Infotech Limited will design the Satellite Imaging for Rail Navigation (SIMRAN) system together.

The system will provide passengers travelling in the train information regarding its current location, speed, next destination, and approximate time to next destination.

The information will also be displayed on the station’s enquiry display board and be available with the person attending telephone enquiry for passengers who stand harassed for want of information about the delay in arrival and departure. Anyone can avail of this information through Short Message Service (SMS).

Moreover, the railways intend to earn revenue through advertisements and other entertainment on display boards inside coaches.

The railways currently have a network of 50,000 km long optical fibre and plan an addition 15,000 km. It uses only 10 percent of the laid capacity and intends to put the rest to good use with the help of satellite.

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