Two firms get nod to install train collision prevention system

Railways has finally selected two firms for installing the much awaited Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), the safety mechanism to prevent accidents, in the 200-km-long Vikarabad-Bidar section as a pilot project.

Medha Servo and Kernex Microsystems were selected among six contenders, including a few multinational companies, by the Research, Designs and Standard Organisation (RDSO) of the Indian Railways on behalf of the Railway Board, a senior Railway Ministry official said.

The pilot project, which aims at preventing accidents, is estimated to cost about Rs 18 crore while the trials on Vikarabad-Bidar section in South Central zone are expected to be completed in about eight months time by February 2014.

A safety device designed to prevent train accidents, TCAS is based on a combination of railway signalling data with radio communications, global position, radio frequency identification devices, software and logic.

The indigenously developed TCAS is a combination of Train Protection Warning System (TPWS), an European technology which protects trains against signal passing at danger, and Konkan Railway-developed anti-collision device which avoids collision in mid-section.

“TCAS is developed in RDSO and it is very cost effective for us. While TPWS cost about Rs 70 lakh per km, TCAS is just about Rs 10 lakh,” said the official.

Fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), the device would automatically activate the brakes if it detects any problems on the track.

After a successful trial in the South Central zone, TCAS will be deployed all over the country, said the official.

TCAS is equipped to control railway stations, signalling systems and trains including suburban, long-distance and goods trains.

The official further said that whenever TCAS has to bring the train to a halt, it will first reduce its speed and identify the nearest signal within the range of 200 metres with the help of RFID.

“It will then ensure that the train stops close to this signal.”

Coal India seeks more railway rakes

State-run Coal India Limited (CIL), the world’s largest coal miner, has sought more rakes from the Indian Railways to meet targeted off-take of 492 million tonnes of the fuel in the next financial year.

“To attain the targeted off-take for excellent rating, CIL has sought 212.2 railway rakes per day, on an annual basis for 2013-14 against the average availability of 167.7 rakes during 2011-12 and about 184 rakes during 2012-13,” a Coal India release said here.

“Average growth of coal movement through rail was around 5.21 percent during the last four years whereas CIL envisages a growth of around 8.67 percent through rail for achieving the above target,” it said.

The coal behemoth Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with its administrative ministry, the Ministry of Coal, for its key performance areas for the fiscal year 2013-14.

Coal Ministry Secretary S.K. Srivastava and CIL Chairman S. Narsing Rao signed the document in Delhi.

According to the MoU, for the next fiscal the coal ministry has fixed coal production and off-take targets of 482 million tonnes (mt) and 492 mt respectively against previous year’s coal production and off-take target of 464.1 mt and 470 mt respectively.

Coal off-take increased by about 32 mt as of March 20 over the same period last year, while total increase in coal production over last year was about 18 mt.

The required growth rates for achieving coal production and off-take targets of 2013-14 are about 7.11 percent and 5.80 percent respectively, the coal miner said.

Published in: on March 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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