GPS-based tech to prevent fire on train parcel vans

For the first time on Indian Railways, a global positing system-based automatic lighting system has been installed in the parcel compartment of a train to prevent instances of accidental fire due to short-circuit.

Western Railway has installed the system in the August Kranti Rajdhani Express. There are plans to equip other trains with the system in which lights in the parcel van switch off automatically on the basis of the train’s speed. This eliminates the possibility of short-circuit, which is one among the many causes of fire in parcel van. In the newly installed system, the lights will get switched off as soon as the train gains a speed of 20 kmph.

There have been instances in the past when the cause of the fire has originated from the parcel van. In some cases, short-circuit occurs if the staff forget to switch off lights in the parcel van. WR’s chief public relations office Sharat Chandrayan said, “The lights are required only when the train has stopped at a station to facilitate loading and unloading. A GPS based system has been developed which switches off lights in the parcel van once the train starts running.”

The GPS device (installed in generator coach) will continuously monitor the location. Once the train starts running, the change in GPS coordinates shall be calibrated to ascertain train speed. Costing Rs 11,500, the system has been indigenously developed.