‘Hooter’ to alert loco drivers

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention and the same goes for innovation. And so, some imaginative engineers from Signalling and Telecom wing of the South Central Railway (SCR) have come up with a ‘Hooter’ to warn locomotive pilots (engine drivers) if they beat a ‘red signal’.

As most innovations that attract the spotlight go, this one too appears rather simple and tests conducted between Cherlapally and Moulali stations between June 10 and 15 turned out to be pretty successful. Going by the description, the device consists of two track circuits installed on the tracks two km before what’s called the ‘home signal’ before an approaching station.

As soon as the locomotive approaches the two-km mark before a station and there is a red signal ahead, a shrill warning erupts from the ‘Hooter’ located 800 metres away from the station, in the form of a noise that lasts a full one minute. There is a default setting though. The ‘Hooter’ makes a noise only if the train is travelling over a speed of 40 km per hour. If it is well within the speed limit, it means the pilot is anyway alert and there is no noise.

“This is just an imaginative, intelligent thought by our engineers that was taken forward. We will soon be sending across the details of the prototype to the Railway Board for further tests and approval. Once it is fine-tuned and standardised, it might well be used across the country,” says D.P. Pande, General Manager-SCR. He described it as an innovation that did not require any great technology but only the fundamentals. “The device just provides a warning to the loco pilot. It does not have the ability to shut off the locomotive on its own but only serves as an added safety mechanism in a worst-case scenario. After all, there can be no compromise on safety.


Surveillance cameras at railway reservation offices

South Central Railway is installing surveillance cameras at Passenger Reservation System offices and booking offices at major railway stations in the State to eliminate the menace of agents and middlemen at railway reservation ticketing area.

Already, 25 surveillance cameras have been installed at Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur, Nanded and Guntakal Stations this month. Each camera entails an expenditure of Rs.30,000 and authorities are planning to install similar cameras at Hyderabad, Kacheguda, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, Aurangabad, Tirupati, Kadapa and Renigunta stations in the second phase very shortly.

These cameras are installed to observe the activity of touts, if any, in the Reservation Offices and also to observe the presence of middlemen, who may approach the passengers near reservation counters. The footage of these surveillance cameras is made available to higher officials on real time basis through Railnet with the help of an IP address assigned to each camera.

This apart, these surveillance cameras are now facilitating the divisional authorities, including Divisional Railway Manager and Senior Divisional Commercial Manager to monitor the working of reservation or booking counters to take appropriate decision for catering to the needs of visitors at the counters. Video recording facility is also available for recording the images and storing them for subsequent viewing.


SCR Introduces Token System at Passenger Reservation System Office at Secunderabad

To facilitate passengers to book their tickets with out a need for standing in queues and also to avoid congestion at Ticket Counters, South Central Railway introduced Token System at Passenger Reservation System Office at Secunderabad on 28th August 2012.

The Tokens will be issued from 11 00 hrs to 20 00 hrs. Passengers, after taking tokens from Token Counter, can relax in the chairs provided till their turn shown o­n LED Screens. The LED Screen will indicate the counter number where the passenger has to perform his transaction.

At present, an averageof 1200 Tokens are being issued per day. Passengers who are utilizing the exclusive counters meant for Ladies, Senior Citizens, Group Booking, Credit Card Booking need not take tokens and can approach booking counters directly.

Earlier, Token System was introduced at Passenger Reservation System Office, Hyderabad in Twin Cities o­n 07th July, 2011 and the average number of tokens being issued there is800 per day. Based o­n positive response from the public, the token system has now been extended to Secunderabad reservation office also.


Manual Telephone Enquiry System Commissioned

In addition to the existing information system through Rail Sampark “139” a Manual Telephone Enquiry System has been commissioned by South Central Railway for the benefit of the Rail Users in the Twin Cities.Passengers can now access the enquiry through Telephone number 040-27829999. This number will have four lines which will function round the clock to cater to the needs of the Rail Users.

Passengers can now enquire regarding running of Trains, arrival/departure of Trains from various stations, Rescheduling/ Cancellation/ Diversion of trains from the Twin Cities and also MMTS Services.