CR to get rain-proof signalling system before next monsoon

Central Railway (CR) commuters can expect a smoother journey next monsoon. The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) wants to install an advanced signalling system. This Austrian system, as opposed to the existing one, is touted as rain-proof.

The product, from the firm Frauscher Sensortechnik, is at present being tested by the Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO; the railways’ benchmarking body), Lucknow. MRVC’s MD Rakesh Saksena said, “We installed 64 of the devices, called digital axle counters (DACs), in Parel a few months ago for field trials. The data is being sent to RDSO. Monsoon is the ideal time to gauge the success of the device.”

Once RDSO certifies the trials as successful, the device will be installed between CST and Thane, and in Kalyan and Raoli Junction. It will cover 1,095 track sections and comprise 1,503 detection points. The project, which is part of MUTP, costs Rs 55 crore.

A DAC, comprising two detectors on either end of a track section, detects a train on the section by tallying axles. Each coach of a local train has four axles (for four sets of wheels).Thus, a 12-car local has 48 axles. Each detector of a DAC will count these. A perfect tally would mean that a train indeed was present in the section. The signal in that section will turn red to ensure a reasonable gapwiththe next train on the same track.

DIGITAL DESIGN Central Railway plans a switch from analog to digital signalling to beat rain-related interference
EXISTING SYSTEM TRACK CIRCUIT DEVICE | Detects the presence of a train on a section of the track. The two rails of the track are connected by a relay coil. When a train passes through the spot, a circuit is formed. When this happens, the default status of a signal—which is green—turns red, indicating that the section is occupied DRAWBACK | If it rains, the circuit often becomes faulty because of the presence of water, turning the signal red in a section even without the presence of a train.

ADVANCED SYSTEM MULTI-SECTION DIGITAL AXLE COUNTER | A track is divided into sections, with a signal post marking each. The advanced signalling system will have axle detectors at both ends of a section. The signal will turn red if the number of axles counted by the first detector matches that counted by the second SUPERIORITY | While the existing track circuit device works on electricity, making it vulnerable to conductors like water, the advanced system is based on the electromagnetic field


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