Penalty levied for failure to activate Train Management System

Central Railway has slapped a penalty notice of Rs 5 lakh on Bombardier Transportation for its failure to fully activate the train management system (TMS), which will allow commuters and the railway control room to track local trains in real time. CR had activated TMS on stations between Masjid and Kalyan on July 25.

TMS helps in real-time monitoring of trains in the control room.The arrival status of local trains is reflected on indicators installed on platforms in the form of a countdown (in minutes) to the train’s arrival on the platform is displayed on indicators, accompanied by automatic announcements on platforms

In 2008, Bombardier Transportation won a Rs 26-crore contract for the design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the TMS for CR. However, four years down the lane, the system is still not totally operational. Even though Bombardier Transportation is responsible for smooth implementation of TMS,

The project reportedly got delayed because of problems at the CR end and non cooperation from vendors supplying indicators.

First, there was a delay in handing over of the structure for the control room. Secondly, the technology used for TMS components is not uniform at all the stations because of procurement from different vendors, who were not open to the idea of sharing their technology with a third party. Unless, the vendors cooperated it was difficult to link the TMS software with their indicators.

A senior railway official conceded, “After we cleared up the issue at our end, Bombardier submitted a revised deadline of June 2012 for the system to become completely active. The penalty notice was issued as there were reliability issues about the functioning of the system even after the extension. The penalty amount will be invoked if these issues are not resolved by September.”

Some officials equipped with knowledge of technology had quit Bombardier Transportation, which also led to set back. “However, now all the issues are sorted out and we are confident that system will now work to the satisfaction of every one”, he added.

There are a total of 26 stations, having 92 platforms between CST and Kalyan. TMS was activated between Masjid and Vidyavihar in April 2012. Despite CR announcement, the experience on the ground was in contrast as the system was not working at many platforms. CR warned that strong measures can be taken if the Bombardier now fails to make the system totally operational by October 2012.

Harsh Mehta, director, communications and public affairs, Bombardier, said, “We are working with CR’s technical experts to undertake trials and test to successfully commission the system at the earliest.”