Rail budget: Technology to prevent rail accidents

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New Delhi, Feb 26: Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in the rail budget on Feb 26 emphasized the need for better safety. Among the various measures that were announced, he also mentioned the Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) which and Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) would be introduced in select routes.

If implemented both these systems would go a long way in preventing accidents. The TCAS would cost Rs 1 lakh per kilometer where as the TPWS approximately comes up to Rs 80 lakh per kilometer.

Technology to prevent rail accidents

[Also Read: Railway Budget 2015: History of Indian Railways in years]

However, the Railway minister made it clear that it would be introduced on select tracks for now as the cost of these systems are on the higher side.

How does TCAS work?

The TCAS is a security overlay system which is to be deployed on the safety infrastructure of train networks. It broadcasts the position and also tracks the trains. This system would help the train drivers have accurate knowledge of the traffic situation in their vicinity.

Through this system analysis and information of the position and movements of trains would be provided which would help in detection of traffic. This would help prevent collisions on the track.

In India the TCAS is developed by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), which is the railways` research arm.

It was implemented on a trial basis between Hyderabad and Wadi. The RDSO explains that it has a lot of benefits and would help prevent accidents.

The technology would give real time information of traffic which would keep the train driver more prepared. It would give information regarding oncoming trains which proves to be helpful in preventing accidents.

What is TPWS:

The Train Protection Warning Signal is a technology meant to prevent train accidents due to driver failure. If the train driver fails to observe a signal, through this technology the brake of the train is automatically activated.

The TPWS would also give information about the signal aspects and also the permissible speeds.

Electronic loops are placed between 50 to 450 metres on the approach side of the stop signal. It is the distance that separates the loops which controls the speed of the train.

In addition to this another pair of loops are placed at the signal which indicates danger. Moreover, at the signal the loops are placed together which will detect speeds and immediately stop a train if it runs past a signal.

Inside the train a TPWS panel is placed which is linked to the loops placed on the track. This is considered to be a fool proof system which would go a long way in preventing train accidents.

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