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.
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!
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