The locomotives of the Indian Railways will be equipped with a ‘third eye’ to avert train collisions, derailment and accidents on unmanned railway crossings.
Railways have decided to procure a radar based device that will alert the drivers of any physical obstruction on railway tracks ahead and thus avert accidents.
This will prove to be more useful during nights and in foggy conditions when drivers have to constantly look outside the locomotive to assess the condition.
The system called ‘Terrain Imaging for Diesel Drivers – Infra-red Enhanced Optiocal and radar assisted’ (Tri-netra) may be procured from foreign agencies. A railway ministry official said six countries have so far expressed desire to install these devices in Indian trains. Sources said these include agencies from countries like France, Japan and Switzerland. In the pilot project, these devices will be installed in 100 locomotives and gradually more devices could be procured depending on success of the system.
According to railway officials, the tri-netra device will use infra-red to tab signals up to a distance of 2-3 km and display the information on screen fitted inside the locomotive.
This will give the driver ample time to stop the train.
According to a official involved in the project, these devices can easily sense the presence of any uprooted tree or a boulder lying on the railway tracks. If a vehicle has broken down on the rail tracks, the device can notice them well in advance.
Purchase of this device is a part of railway’s efforts to achieve zero-accident rate. Railway is also planning to create a special safety fund for eliminating unmanned level crossings, track renewal, signal up gradation and installation of train collision avoidance system for reducing train accidents to near zero.
Railway officials said the ministry is keen on procuring these devices as it has so far failed to implement indigenously-developed Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). Designed by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), the system has been successfully tested in Secunderabad division on 250-km-long track.