Boosting Rail Safety: Rs 4,198 Cr Allocated for Signalling Works, says Vaishnaw

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw highlights Indian Railways' significant investment to enhance rail safety and efficiency through Rs 4,198 crore allocation for signalling works in the fiscal year 2023-24.

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Indian Railways
Indian Railways/ Representational Image

NEW DELHI (Metro Rail News): In the financial year 2023-24, the Ministry of Railways has allocated Rs 4,198 crore to enhance signalling systems. This decision showcases the railway ministry’s dedication to upgrading these systems to improve safety and efficiency in train operations.

Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister of Railways, Communications, and Electronic and Information Technology, shared this information in response to a question in the Lok Sabha. This allocation of funds highlights Indian Railways‘ dedication to delivering a great and safe travel experience while embracing advanced technologies.

The modernization of signalling systems has been ongoing, with Indian Railways adopting new approaches to stay up-to-date with technology. Railways has decided to implement Electronic Interlocking (EI) at all installations, which uses digital tech to improve train operations and safety. By May 31, 2023, an impressive 3108 stations have already been equipped with Electronic Interlocking.
Most stations have transitioned to Electrical/Electronic Signalling Interlocking Systems by May 31, 2023. This move from traditional to electronic systems enhances safety.

The introduction of Axle Counters for Automatic Clearance of Block Sections (BPAC) showcases Indian Railways’ push for automation. These systems allow trains to arrive without manual help, streamlining operations. As of May 31, 2023, 6397 block sections have been equipped with Axle Counters.

Vaishnaw shared that safety at Level Crossing (LC) gates has been notably strengthened by interlocking them with Signals. This important measure has been applied at 11093 Level Crossings by May 31, 2023, providing an extra safeguard for passengers and railway staff.

An impressive accomplishment is the creation of the indigenous Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system named Kavach. This innovative system helps train operators in maintaining prescribed speed limits by automatically applying brakes when needed. Kavach has been installed on 1465 route kilometers and 121 locomotives, proving its effectiveness in ensuring secure train journeys, especially in challenging weather conditions.

Moreover, a strong emphasis has been placed on standardizing signalling systems. The introduction of standard typical circuits for Electronic Interlocking (EI) systems, including Version-1 in 2019 and Version-2 in 2022, has facilitated consistent logic circuit application across the Indian Railways network.

Continuing the quest for improvement, work is underway to develop a direct driving feature in Electronic Interlocking. This advancement holds the potential to further streamline train operations and enhance the overall system efficiency.

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