Train Management System (TMS) to monitor Metro trains

Monitoring an en-route train got will become easier from Thursday with Metro Railway installing a new Train Management System (TMS) which incorporates a networked data logger to automatically chart their positions. Officials say that this system will enable them to prevent unnecessary delays. This is essential as trains run at five-minute intervals during the morning and evening peak hours and even a minutes delay services during the morning and evening peak hours are at five-minute intervals. Even a delay of a minute can throw the schedule haywire.

According to them, the TMS is a precursor to the proposed Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) which will be introduced by September this year. If the new system functions properly, there will be relief for commuters who have to suffer at times due to disruption in services.

This train management system will help the data-loggers log down the exact time of the arrival and departure of the train to and from each station with the help of the ‘track circuit’ – an electrical device in the form of a censor installed on the railway tracks to detect the movement of the train along the track and thus provide information to the signallers. “It will be like the black-box of the metro trains. It will automatically log down the exact time and send the details to the data-loggers. Earlier, it was not possible to do it manually,” said Protyush Ghosh, DGMG,Metro Railway.

Each station has also got a video camera installed to under this system.The data-loggers can also get the panoramic view of all the 23 platforms and real time line diagram display of train movement between throughout the DumDum to New Garia metro route on a 67 -inches Large Video Wall System. In case there is a congestion on the route, it will be easy to regulate the glitches and avoid undue detentions of the following trains.

Despite the video monitoring on every station , this system cannot help control the metro suicide cases. “We have to depend on our staff to control the suicides manually,” said PB Murthy, outgoing general manager, Metro Railway. Metro Railway also plans to get 50 more trains by the end of fiscal year to smoothly implement the proposed services run at 4-minutes interval, as proposed by railway minister Mukul Roy. Metro now runs 270 services every day.

WR locals to get advanced system to keep them off collision course

Train protection warning system (TPWS), proposed for Western Rly among others by Rly Board, will minimise risk of signal breach and derailments, deter speeding trains, and reduce collisions

While the French call it ‘the Crocodile’, the Germans have named their train protection system ‘Indusi’. Now, the Railway Board is working out a similar advanced warning system for the Western Railway (WR), starting with suburban locals in Mumbai, where about 1,214 train services are operated every day.

Need for upgrade: Currently, the trains are fitted with an auxiliary
warning system, under which a motorman is alerted by a beep if the
train is headed to breach a signal. File pic

Soon after the presentation of the Railway Budget, the Board proposed a plan under the train protection warning system (TPWS) covering high-density routes on the four Railway zones — Western, Eastern, South Eastern and North Central. Starting with WR, the proposed TPWS will be installed on the Mumbai Central-Virar stretch, and be extended up to Ahmedabad via Vadodara, covering a stretch of 500 km.

The primary function of the TPWS is to minimise risk of trains breaching signals and derailments, act as a deterrent for speeding trains, and reduce collisions with buffers. Sources in WR say that the mechanical functioning of TPWS is such that it would immediately apply brakes in case the train is moving too fast despite the red signal, or would help the train to slow down after sensing something wrong on the tracks ahead. Also, if a motorman misjudges the distance as to when the brakes should be applied, TPWS will come to his aid.

“The software installed in TPWS would connect the tracks, signalling system and the train. This system would send signals to one another and in case the train is running at a high speed, irrespective of a red signal, it would automatically apply brakes without human intervention,” said a senior WR official.

Exactly a year ago, WR had called tenders for initial study and implementation of TPWS. However, it could be a long time before the plan actually sees the light of day. The plan is scheduled to start this year, and will cover nearly 3,300 km of train route across the four zones till 2015. Other areas will be covered by 2020.

At present, the trains are fitted with the auxiliary warning system (AWS), which works on magnetic field pertaining to tracks and signal systems. Under AWS, a motorman is alerted by a beep when the system senses the train might breach a signal. The system is placed between two tracks. While the suburban trains on the Western and Central Railway have been using AWS for over 20 years now, officials have been complaining that motormen tend to switch it off, risking train operations.

AWS fact file
In August 2009, a local train rammed into a stationary train at Mahim station. Several railway officials had then opined that the existing auxiliary warning system, a technology first introduced by WR in 1986-87, was outdated and needed upgrade. There are 508 AWSs on the Churchgate-Virar stretch, including slow and fast lines.

Railways move to ensure zero mishaps

The rise in train mishaps has prompted the Ministry of Railways to follow Mumbai’s example and install a train protection and warning system (TPWS) in trains across the country.

However, the TPWS chosen for this exercise is a much advanced European version of train safety and will ensure zero accidents.
The Auxiliary Warning System (AWS), an old version of TPWS, has been operational in Mumbai’s Central and Western Railways for the past 15 years and there have been very few major accidents.

The national rollout plan released this month aims to complete the installation in three phases between 2013 and 2020 and will cover automatic signalling sections and high-density routes.
In phase one, 500km of the section between Mumbai Central-Virar-Vadodara and Ahmedabad have been included. The cost for the installation is estimated to be nearly Rs50 lakh per kilometre.

The decision comes after the railways set up a high-level safety committee comprising experts like former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar and DMRC chief E Sreedharan to conduct a safety audit and plug loopholes in the system.

While one of the components of the TPWS will be installed in the cabin of the locomotive or the train, another component is to be fitted along the rail tracks. The TPWS will take care of “human error” that, as per railway records, are responsible for around 60% of all train accidents.

Trials of TPWS have been underway on the 200-km Delhi-Agra route and the 60 km Chennai-Gumudipundi route under a pilot project for which the railways had earmarked Rs 250 crore.

The TPWS, common in trains across the UK, will be an additional safety feature for trains as they automatically activate brakes on a train that is speeding.

Konkan Railway plan
The anti-collision device (ACD) developed by Konkan Railway has taken a backseat after the railways gave preference to the European train protection warning system.

But railway engineers are in favour of the anti-collision device.
TPWS is not only expensive but also less efficient compared to the ACD system, said railway engineers. ACD is a no-signal equipment having superior wide-area safety-enhancing capability, while costing much less, they said.

Published in: on December 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) on trains

ALLAHABAD: To prevent train accidents, North Central Railway has installed Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) on trains. This protection device would automatically apply brakes on a train if it crosses a signal or is over speeding. The system has already been installed on three trains and is functioning effectively. The trains on which it has been installed are 2279/2280 Taj Express, 2911/2912 Valsad-Haridwar express and 4211/4212 Agra- New Delhi intercity express.

TPWS automatically applies a trains brakes if it approaches a fitted signal at danger too fast or fails to stop at a signal set at danger. It also automatically applies the brakes if a train is travelling too fast on the approach to certain speed restrictions and buffer stops.

A standard TPWS installation consists of an on-track transmitter placed adjacent to a signal and activated when the signal is at `danger’ point. Any train that tries to pass the signal will have its emergency brakes activated. If the train is travelling at speed, this may be too late to stop it before the point of collision, therefore a second transmitter may be placed on the approach to the signal that applies the brakes on trains going too fast to stop at a signal, and this is positioned to safely stop trains approaching at upto 75 mph (120 km/h).

One pair of electronic loops is placed 50-450 metres on the approach side of the stop signal. The distance separating the loops is used to control the speed of the train.

There is another pair of loops at the signal, also energised when the signal is at “danger”. These are always placed immediately together and will stop a train that runs past the signal, regardless of its speed.

In a standard installation of TPWS, there are two pairs of loops (sometimes referred to as “grids” or “toast racks”). Both pairs consist of an `arming’ and a ‘trigger’ loop. If the signal associated with the TPWS is at “danger”, the loops will be energised. If the signal is at “proceed”, the loops will de-energise.

The first pair, the Overspeed Sensor System, is fitted at a position determined by line speed and gradient. The loops are separated by a distance that should not be traversed within a pre-determined period of time (about 1 second) if the train is running at a safe speed approaching the signal at “danger”. The other pair of loops is back to back at the signal, and is called a Train Stop System ( TSS).

NCR chief public relations officer RD Bajpai told TOI that TPWS is a foolproof system that would prevent train accidents and thus ensure safety of passengers. The system would be installed on more trains soon, he said.