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Last updated: March 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

Indian Railways to bring real-time GPS tracking system via Google Maps!

True to the announcement made during Railway Budget that focus of this year’s budget would be Safety and Cleanliness – Indian Railways have made an announcement that the trains may soon get real-time GPS tracking system to avoid accidents! According to ET report, this real time GPS tracking system will be integrated with Google Maps and will be accessible through range of mobile devices & computers.

CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems), the technology arm of Indian Railways,  has already developed a GPS based solution in partnership with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization). This solution can provide exact location of trains with a accuracy of 10 meters and maximum latency of 2 mins (which is on higher side).

The application which is integrated with Google Maps, will be accessible to everyone, including general public and passengers. It will be of great help especially when passengers may want to know if and how much the train is late. They don’t have to wait at station for hours together, as with the help of this real-time train tracker they can know exactly when the train will arrive at the station. It may have a maximum error margin of 2 minutes.

realtime data

However, the main aim of this application is to have a real time monitoring on the trains itself, so that the train driver can track nearby or other trains crossing. They can take action before hand, if they feel there is a risk involved. Indian Railways also expects this application to help them in doing efficient planning & Scheduling of trains.

According to the ET article, it will cost about Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 1 Lakh to implement this real-time GPS monitoring system on each train. Initially about 100 trains will get this implemented. Users can access this application on http://Indianrailways.gov.in

In theory this is an excellent step forward for Indian Railways, however, we will have to wait and see how well Indian Railways implements this and how effective it will be once implemented!

What do you think ?


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  • locating train by gps system cannot stop accidents. My son’s classmate who was working with Satyam Computers later became blind and is now working in Nalgonda I am told prepared a device to stop the accidents of trains on the same track. He is poor having lost eye sight is working with , I think with the state Govt.

  • This will not really solve the problem of train accidents…GPS devices would only help the drivers know near by trains…..a better info for the drivers to know is which other train or trains are sharing or crossing its track..This would help them take some action against collisions…however we cannot prevent accidents caused by train derailing even with system. The railways should first study the technical failures which are causing the accidents. This system is okay as a fancy feature that would only help travelers lo track their trains. "The drivers need on-board rail-track usage info, not the GPS co-ordinates". It would be better if they implement wireless communication system to share track use info.

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