Indian Railway has developed a vandal-proof warning system for unmanned level crossings which is working satisfactorily for the last three months on Coimbatore-Metupallayam section.
Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), railways’ research wing, which has finalised the specifications of the system, has recommended to all zonal railways to initiate steps for installation of the warning system in their respective areas as a step towards prevention of accidents, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the safety drive.
Mishaps at level crossings account for about 40 per cent of train accidents and about 60 per cent of fatalities due to the failure of the railways to man these crossings or build road overbridges or underpass.
There are 30,348 level crossings across the country out of which around 11,563 are unmanned.
The system is equipped with two blinkers and one siren to alert people when a train is within one km radius of the level crossing.
“Fitted with solar panel, it has a theft protection system,” said the official, adding, “in case of vandalisation of the system at the level crossing by unscrupulous elements or for any other reason, SMS alert will be sent to pre-programmed mobile numbers.”
Besides, there is a provision in the system for sending SMS alerts about trains crossing to pre-programmed mobile numbers.
The system consists of two sensor modules and a control module in which train movements are detected and siren and blinker alerts are produced when the train is within one km of the level crossing. Sensor modules are located within one km of level crossing to detect train movement on track.
The system has been developed with a Mumbai-based vendor and RDSO will call for an expression of interest from other vendors for the production of more such systems.
RDSO has in a letter to the Railway Board recommended that each railway zone may be advised to install at least one or two systems for field trials before large-scale development can be initiated.