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ISRO Collaborates With Indian Railways on Efficient Time Charts

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Railway officials stated some good news for the passengers- The Indian Railways has linked its locomotives with the ISRO satellites, and this has made it easy to track trains, and it will also automatically feed the control charts about trains’ arrival and departure.

A senior railway ministry official told IANS- “A new beginning has been made in the new year: the train movement information will now be acquired and fed to the control charts with the help of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) satellite-based real-time train information system (RTIS) automatically.

The official went on to say that the system had been implemented on January 8, on a few of the mail or express trains on the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra-Bandra Terminus, New Delhi-Patna, New Delhi-Amritsar, and Delhi-Jammu routes. They also went on to add that the new system will help railways in modernizing the railway network which will provide an efficient train movement across its network.

The official added- “The move is aimed at further improving the accuracy of train-running information.

The official went on to explain how the new system worked and said that the RTIS device which is installed in the locomotive detects the position and speed of the train using the GAGAN geo-positioning system, which has been developed by ISRO.

He added- “Based on this information and application logic, the device will send the train movement updates (arrival/departure/run through/unscheduled stoppages and mid-section updates) to the central location server in the CRIS data center and this will S-band Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) of ISRO. After processing the data in the CLS, this information will be relayed to the Control Office Application (COA) system that will be automatically plotted on the control charts without any manual intervention in the divisions. 

Earlier, the official said that the train running status was updated manually. 

The official said- “Before these techniques were developed by the CRIS (Centre for Railway Information System) in collaboration with ISRO, the divisional controls setup for the purpose of train movement control were dependent on the information that was being relayed by the station master to the station controller and the data was fed in the control chart by the section controller.”

He said that the COA is already being integrated with National Train Enquiry System (NTES). The railways is also working with the ISRO to use their satellite-based system to check for accidents at unmanned railway crossings and track train movements.

Earlier when railways worked on a pilot project with ISRO, they had installed space agency-developed integrated circuit (IC) chips on some train locomotives. 

The official added- “The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System was used to warn road users of approaching trains through hooters that have been installed at unmanned road crossings. The railways have also eliminated all the unmanned level crossing except one in Uttar Pradesh due to local issues.

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