Collision-free Railways

Our Country's Anti-collision Devices network with each other and form an intelligent safety layer to protect railway staff as well as the passengers from dangerous collisions/washouts in floods. A more positive and aggressive implementation is needed in public interest.

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Location: Hyderabad /Herndon VA USA , Andhra Pradesh, India

Fellow of National Academy of Engineering Fellow of Institution of Engineers, M.Tech., Indian Railway Service of Engineers (1970-2005) Former MD/ Konkan Railway Corporation

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Preventable Railway Accidents

In 1999 I felt shaken emotionally when our railways were suffering from a spate of dangerous collisions, killing too large a number of passengers who entrusted their lives to us. In 90 days flat, I produced a prototype to show that we can prevent collisions and christined the same as ACD and patents were granted all over the world to me as inventor, the rights for the royalties assigned by me to the country through the Konkan Railway.
The networked intellegent system is unique in the world, more misunderstood by those who are accustomed to handling conventional hard wired systems. So it has been positioned as an additional layer to the existing systemof train control, NOT replacing any of the existing systems. I lost too much time only in the process of convincing people in authority than in actual development! Fortunately today we are in the position to see the results of implementation over 5 years, and nearly 2500 km are covered.
With ETDC - a premier Govt of India testing body certifying the system to be functioning as per the Functional requirement specifications, provided the field survey for tuning the system and installation at site is done correctly- the design and functioning features are well established, to cover almost close to 63000 km route of Indian Railways. Some special case of multiple lines- can be soon covered after developing some special features in the software- but one must note that the product with Lloyds quality certification and ETDC system verification and certification can be implemented on 63000 km of route.
To insist that we must have perfect product to cover even the multiple lines now tself before clearing for other fit routes , will only delay the implementation.
In all trials and tests by the ETDC for the integrated software and hardware fuctioning in networked atmosphere, 100% performane was assured for the critical accident prone scenarios. By implementing with more precise survey and tuning of parameters, it is not difficult to achieve 99.5% fuctioning in real time networked ACDs.
The recent accidents of collision as well as the loss of lives because of breach of railway affecting tanks, can be prevented with already proven ACD technology coupled with inclinometers, tested and proven on the Konkan Railway.
It is matter of anguish for me that inspite of having world class technolgy, satisfying the prescribed international norms, incorrect perception and wanton mis-representation of data, and the wrong prioratisation - causing unpardonable delay and deny the affordable protection to at least the 63000 km of our routes!
Our hard working railway men and the trusting countrymen who avail our services, desrve better deal from us.
Improvements will continue, and being a software based product, the investments are protected and will not become obsolete.
It is time to act for all the right thinking persons- and I pray that the hard work done by not only by me but all my colleagues and the industry, to create the world class product, serves to prevent the typical accidents which occured now. These are preventable.
B. Rajaram M. Tech., FIE., FNAE
Indian Railway Service of Engineers (1970-2005)
CE(Goa), Dir(Project) & MD Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.,( 1990-2005)
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