500 passenger trains get ISRO-enabled GPS

About 500 passenger locomotives of the South Central Railway (SCR) have been fitted with the newly developed Real-time Train Information System (RTIS) to monitor precise speeds and movement throughout the journey from first point to the destination.

It has been developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CIRE) with the help of Indian Space Research Organisation-Airports Authority of India’s GAGAN -Global Positioning System (GPS) aided geo-augmented navigation, originally developed for air traffic management.

“Within the next six months, we plan to install the devices in the freight-carrying locomotives too. For now, the information is being used for internal purposes and, gradually, passengers too will be given access to the data through messages or social media so that they can plan their journeys better,” explained General Manager Gajanan Mallya.

RTIS has an outdoor unit over the locomotive roof top — Rail MSS Terminal (RMT) comprising of Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) transceiver module, GPS receiver and antennae. It also has an indoor unit — Indian Rail Navigator (IRN) in the locomotive cabin comprising a display processing engine, integrated communication module and power management unit. Communication is done through GPS reception and 4G modules.

The SCR has 1,284 locomotives, including diesel and electric. Of the 582 diesel locomotives about 334 locomotives have been installed with RTIS device and 248 are yet to be fitted with it. And, out of 702 electric locomotives, 268 got them while 434 need to be fitted, said senior railway officials.

The new system has facilitated automatic transmission of speed and movement of trains to the central control office for improving train control functions unlike earlier where the station master concerned used to inform the section authority through a telephone which is then fed into the computer system for it to be integrated with the National Train Enquiry System (NTES) through the central office.

To activate, a loco pilot has to log in the loco device system and enter the required credentials like user ID, password, train number and so on before pressing the “start journey” button. The loco device will start functioning automatically and transmits the required information to the control office from start to finish.

Senior railway officials aver that once RTIS is put on freight trains, it would help track not only unscheduled stoppages and breakdowns but also theft of goods, which is rampant along the journey. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has bagged the contract for supply of 2,835 devices to be installed on locomotives and network infrastructure. While 2,700 devices would be installed at 21 loco-sheds, 135 devices would be kept as spares, said chief public relations officer Ch. Rakesh.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 6:02:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/500-passenger-trains-get-isro-enabled-gps/article29872470.ece

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