The Indian Railways successfully tested a path-breaking technology called Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), about 150 km from Hyderabad, on Tuesday.

The TCAS technology, based on a combination of GPS and Radio Frequency enabled technology, applies brakes without the intervention of the loco (train) pilots once it detects another locomotive on the move or stationary on the same track and avoids collision. The technology includes installation of some electronic gadgets on the trains, in the stations and along the tracks.

A host of railway officials led by Chairman of the Railway Board Vinay Mittal, Member (Electrical) Kul Bhushan and Director General of the Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), Lucknow, V. Ramachandran watched the successful trial of the TCAS. The technology is jointly developed by RDSO of the Railways and Hyderabad-based private firm HBL Power Systems Ltd.

The test was conducted by running two trains, fitted with modified and most advanced TCAS technology equipment, in the opposite directions on the same track at 60 kmph and with a train coming from behind into a stationary one between Mantatti and Navandgi stations.

Both the trains screeched to a halt at a distance of about 200 metres as the officials watched the moment with bated breath. Smiles broke out as the efficacy of the new technology proved in the trial. Interestingly, all the senior railway officials were sitting in the moving train which approached the stationary one from behind.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Mittal said: “It is a path-breaking technology and we will complete all the trials within a year. The TCAS has more capabilities than the technologies being used in many advanced countries.” The test was absolutely successful, he said in joy. Mr. Ramachandran said the technology with some limited options would be introduced in some sections within six months.

Sources stated that the TCAS would not only help avoid collisions due to human errors in signalling and invisibility of signals due to heavy rain or fog, but alerts about fire on trains and warns about damage to the tracks during natural calamities or sabotage.