Rail Radar – Railway’s New Toy for anxious travellers

Panicking in a dense fog at Odhaniya Chacha, an unfamiliar railway station in Rajasthan, and unable to find any response from a gawky babu at a half-open information counter? Try the Indian Railways’ new offering — Rail Radar.

With an interactive Google map, this new software, designed by Union railway ministry’s IT wing Centre for Railway information systems (CRIS), is a live tracker of all passenger train traffic in real time and was launched just before winter set in.

“Map your trains live. Train travel made easy,” said Sunil Bajpai at CRIS, while sharing the new software available at railradar.trainenquiry.com. The software is available in the form of a website and an Android app.

It allows users to continuously watch the movements, with a graphical description, of trains, which are currently running in India.

For a clutter-free look, there’s a colour coding: blue for on-time and red for delayed trains adds.

A box that deals with trains affected, in a span of 24 hours, with fog alone too comes a handy tool.

There is even a tab that shows the expected time of arrival (ETA) of the train using an algorithm that is fed inputs from the local control offices and monitoring stations.

“This is one of our endeavours to eliminate inconvenience to people. The family members of the passengers now need not come to the railway stations and wait for hours,” said Union railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

For the extra curious, there is also an option for the passengers to know the route already covered by a specific train and the trains arriving at and departing from a particular station.

The system, however, has a minor accuracy offset. “The data is refreshed every five minutes. Plus, there is no control on weather, breakdowns and congestions,” said CRIS managing director Vikram Chopra. Also, cargo and goods trains have been kept out the application.

Some concerned officials have also raised security concerns with the tracking trains.

“The assertion that knowing a train’s whereabouts or routing promotes terrorism or is a security risk is inaccurate reasoning and baseless paranoia,” said the CRIS official.


Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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