Indian Railways gets live tracking feature with the help of ISRO

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The Indian Railways has linked its trains via ISRO satellite, making it easier to get live locations of trains and automatically feed the control charts about the train’s arrival and departure, said officials.

“A new beginning has been made in the new year: the train movement information is acquired and fed to the control charts using ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) satellite-based real-time train information system (RTIS) automatically,” a senior railway ministry official told IANS.

The system was implemented on January 8, on some of the mail or express trains on the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra-Bandra Terminus, New Delhi-Patna, New Delhi-Amritsar, and Delhi-Jammu routes, according to the officials.

The officials also added that the new system will allow railway networks to get more efficient train movements across its network and will help in modernizing its control room.

“The move is aimed at further improving the accuracy of train-running information.”

The RTIS devices installed in the trains help detect the position and speed of the trains using GAGAN Geo-positioning system developed by ISRO.

“Based on this information and application logic, the device sends the train movement updates (arrival/departure/run through/unscheduled stoppages and mid-section updates) to a central location server in the CRIS data center using S-band Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) of ISRO,” he said.

“After processing in the CLS, this information is relayed to the Control Office Application (COA) system for automatic plotting of control charts without any manual intervention in the divisions,” added the official.

The official also mentioned that before the implementation of this technology, the train running status used to be uploaded manually.

“Before this technique was developed by the CRIS (Centre for Railway Information System) in collaboration with ISRO, the divisional controls set up for the purpose of train movement control were dependent on the information relayed by the station master to the station controller and the data was fed in the control chart by the section controller manually,” he said.

The Indian Railways is also working with ISRO to used its satellite-based system to check for accidents at un-named crossings and to track the trains.

Earlier, the railways also installed space agency-developed integrated circuit (IC) chips on some trains while working with the ISRO.

“The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System was used to warn road users of approaching trains through hooters installed at unmanned road crossings,” the official said, adding that the Indian Railways has also eliminated unnamed railway crossing except one in Uttar Pradesh due to local issues.

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