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Indian Railway Ministry says yes to GPS

New Delhi, India: GPS technology will be installed on trains in India in the next two years to avoid accidents, according to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee. “The project for introducing GPS in trains is under consideration and will be in place in two years,” Banerjee informed the Rajya Sabha.

The Satellite Imaging for Rail Navigation (Simran), which went through some exhaustive trials could also reduce accidents at unmanned level crossings, besides avoiding collision. The project, which uses a satellite imaging software along with the GPS, was developed as part of the Railway Safety Technology Mission to provide correct train information to passengers.

A train locator unit installed in a train identifies its latitudinal and longitudinal values and speed by receiving information through GPS satellites. LCD screen installed within coaches will inform passengers about speed, current location, next destination, outside temperature etc, according to railway officials familiar with the project.

The Sam Pitroda-led expert committee on ICT has also favoured implementation of the project, which could prove to be a boon for efficient freight handling. Pitroda is expected to hold further deliberation on its implementation in the first week of September.

Several players including IIT Kanpur, RDSO and Kolkata-based Impex Infotech are actively involved in the project, with the Railway planning to implement it through PPP mode. Field trial was conducted in several trains, including Rajdhani Express (Mumbai, Howrah, and Patna), Shatabdi Express (Bhopal, Amritsar, and Lucknow), Duranto Express (New Delhi-Sealdah), Gomti Express (Lucknow-New Delhi) and Puspak Express (Lucknow-Mumbai).

Source: ET & TOI