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.

My Photo
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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Live and Let Live

Its probably time that the Indian Railways explores ways of installing the Anti-Collision Device developed by former Konkan Railway MD B Rajaram

Debasis Sarkar

We just had one more railway accident at Sainthia and over 60 deaths.This has been followed,as is wont,by an investigation which will produce a report that,in all probability will gather dust.History keeps repeating itself.But,what restrains Indian Railway from installing its own unique anti-collision device (ACD) across the Indian Railways network in the country which could prevent many of these collisions
All the accidents in which lives are lost can be prevented by use of the Anti-Collision Device (ACD) technology developed and proven in 2002, says IIT Kharagpur alumnus B Rajaram,who invented the system.Rajaram was former MD of Konkan Railway Corporation Limited.Incidentally,the latter holds the patent for ACD.With the trademark,Raksha Kavach,ACD is designed as a signalfree system.This provides the required safety enhancement layer and blocks gaps in safety levels due to limitations of the existing signal-based train protection systems.It was commissioned in the 1,736-km route of North Frontier Railway (NFR) as a pilot project in June 2007.Says S Hajong,chief public relations officer of NFR: In one of the most adverse signalling environments here on the NFR route,ACD had to match a failure rate lower than 0.025%. And,the system passed the trial run with distinction.Even the World Intellectual Property Office in Geneva praised this indigenous devise,says Konkan Railways chief ACD project manager K Mazumder.The system is now being upgraded from version A to level K to make it fool-proof.The ACD network consists of mobile ACD units,which are installed in engines and guards brake vans,while trackside ACDs are kept at stations,level crossings,locosheds,etc.Mobile ACDs gather inputs from a GPS satellite system for position updates and network with track-side ACDs located within a radius of three kms (using UHF radio modems).Mobile ACD units activate automatic braking units whenever a collision-like situation is perceived.Drivers,guards and station masters are also provided with ACDs and they can stop trains by using an SOS button manually.
At zones where GPS is blocked out,it can run by itself using its own complex and reliable communications and short term bridging algorithms.
Mr Rajaram says: Weve built the system but we deny it to our people.Its implementation is being delayed over the years by successive revision of norms by the Railway Board despite its having passed all yardsticks set by Research Design and Standards Organisation,the railway ministrys apex research body. Actually,as the system evolves further,it can run trains,too,eliminating the need for the existing expensive fixed signal systems.Multinational companies,which a great deal to lose if the ACD comes into operation,have consistently been fighting a proxy technology war using our own retired and even working railway officers, Mr Rajaram says.
Developing the ACD took up hardly 2% of the time as far as intellectual exercise goes.But,the rest 98% had to be spent to fight self-interest groups who were driven by their own interests in technologies of foreign companies, he adds.
The fact of the matter is that despite being mentioned in all railway budgets since 2003,the railways has so far implemented it in only one zone of the 16 zones.Since April 1,2007,the railways levy a special railway safety surcharge ranging between Rs 2 and Rs 100 per traveller.Railways had claimed that all works planned under the safety-fund had been completed by March 31,2008 at a total cost of Rs 17,000 crore.This claim was questioned by the CAG.Whereas,Mazumder says the nationwide rollout of the ACD should not cost the country more than Rs 1,600 crore.
Mr Rajaram has wrote to Union railway minister Mamata Banerjee in April 2010,As you know all the patent rights (of ACD) had been donated by me to the nation.It is for you to take care of the ACDs for the people of India. Will the railways take the plunge for a greater cause Only time can tell...

B Rajaram

Station master with ACD SM console

Loco ACD with ABU in Loco

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Posted on: Saturday, October 02, 2010 11:42 AM
Author: Dr.A.S.Rao
Subject: Innovator Rajaram Bojji

WIPO introduced case studies sharing experience of innovators and from India the cases include that of inventor Rajaram Bojji. He is well known in India yet the case makes interesting reading. He is not a programmed researcher but a railway engineer working in operations. His patent Anti Collision Device was valued by PWC at one billion US dollars and he donated the rights to Konkan Railways. In a nation short of Heros- he is my HERO.

Read WIPO case:

Labels: , ,