Indian Railways has yet another announcement in its transition towards modernizing its trains and systems, all over the network.
The Indian Railways have announced to do away with the guard vans deployed in freight trains, by indulging its reliance onto technology.
Freight trains, or trains carrying goods have guard vans or brake vans attached at the rear end (of the train) to ensure that all the wagons are intact even while motion, along with providing an extra brake-force to the train.
Now, the Indian Railways have decided to shift to a technological replacement for these vans; a device called the End of Train Telemetry (EoTT) system.
Let’s learn more about this.
What is the EOTT System?
The Indian Railways will be replacing guard vans with fully loaded wagons, rigged with a sophisticated device called the End of Train Telemetry (EoTT) system.
This device will create a communication link between the driver and the last wagon of the train, which will replace the need of an extra wagon of guard van.
A guard van’s main purpose is to inform and indicate to the locomotive driver, if any coach of the freight train is parting from the rear ends of the train.
The EOTT device system consists of 2 units:
- The Cab Display Unit or CDU, which is fitted on the locomotive, and
- The Sense and Brake Unit or SBU, fitted on the last wagon of the train.
Together, these 2 units behave like a transmitter and receiver exchanging signals periodically to ensure that the train is running intact with all units (wagons).
In case any wagon of the train delinks, there is a signal sent to the driver, who can then stop the train and relink the same.
Procurement of EOTT Devices
There are about 7,000 freight trains running across India, with about 16,000 guards serving the same.
The EOTT devices will be fitted in every freight train in the country. Each set of this device will cost Rs 10 lakh, at an estimate.
The government has claimed the procurement of these EOTT devices to be a Rs 100-crore project.
Railways has announced plans to purchase a total of 1,000 such devices from South Africa and the USA, while the Banaras Locomotive Works (BLW) has already ordered 250 EOTTs from South Africa.
The other 740 EoTT devices shall be taken up in the next phase.
According to a senior Railway Ministry official, “To begin with, we are procuring 10 such devices from the USA and South Africa next month for trial purposes, though the EoTT system is successfully operational in all advanced countries.”
Railways have also clarified that these EOTT devices will only be installed in freight trains and not passenger trains.
The passenger trains will continue using guard van services.