Soon, railway coaches will be as 'smart' as metro trains. These railway trains will be equipped with modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence to enhance the security of passengers and improve train efficiency. First such state-of-the-art coach was unveiled at the Modern Coach Factory in Raebareli on Tuesday, and the Railways plans to make 100 such trains as a pilot project. Called 'Smart Trains', these coaches will have sensors that can detect defects on bearings, wheels and railway track, giving authorities constant feedback. Early detection of these faults will enable Railways to plan maintenance in advance, and avoid accidents, which will boost train efficiency. Besides, the modern infotainment system installed in it will enable you to locate train in real time. Artificial Intelligence-powered CCTVs would help officials keep a tab on any untoward incident. People will also be able to communicate with the railway staff regarding any assistance.
The state-of-the-art coach is equipped with modern sensors and centralised computer to monitor the status of all sensors through a single window. It has been built on LHB platform and has vibration-based self-power harvesting sensor on the axle box, which will predict the defects on the bearings, wheel defects and hard spot (defects) on the track.
"Basically, we made this coach intelligent, which means we turn it into a coach that can sense passengers' requirements, react according to that. Similarly, this coach will alert authorities on maintenance, safety and security front too. The black box installed in the coach would ensure all these things are constantly being monitored. This infotainment system will not only provide analytics-based passenger information, entertainment facilities like Wi-Fi but will also keep air conditioning and water levels at a check," Rajesh Agarwal, General Manager, Modern Coach Factory, said.
The Central Processing Unit, known as 'PICCU' (Passenger Information and Coach Computing Unit), an industrial grade computer has been provided with GSM network and will primarily monitor the important area of coach maintenance and passenger interface. The passenger information system will inform the passengers about the current location of the train and also the expected time of arrival at the next station. This system can also show the speed of the train, the statement said.
Arun Arora, Principal CME, Railways, said: "This is an age of the smart device. Form mobile phones to music systems, everything is smart these days. We have tried to leverage on this technology. We hope to soon install it in the Kaifiyat Express."
CCTV with artificial intelligence capability will enhance the security of the passengers and also monitor the behaviour and activities of on board railway staff. "The footage will also help in an investigation into any untoward incident during the journey and identifying the culprits and indirect intervention from a remote control centre," the ministry said. The coach is also provided with the emergency talk back system for communication between the passengers (especially woman and child) and the guard of the train so that necessary assistance can be provided. It also has Wi-fi hot spot information system. An additional cost of all systems/all equipment will be approximately Rs 12-14 lakh, which can be recovered in a year or so, the ministry said.
A pilot project is being launched to turn out a minimum 100 more smart coaches to gain experience and validate. "Once these sensors will be installed in these coaches, we will monitor them in trials and see if any modification is required," said Arora.
With PTI inputs
(Edited by Manoj Sharma)