India: For diminishing the possibilities of signals failing, Indian Railways has decided to undertake remote condition monitoring of the system — to predict failures through the use of Artificial Intelligence.
The Signaling system is crucial for safe train operations and the railways depend totally on the robustness of its signaling assets and the real-time information.
Currently, the railways follow a manual maintenance system and find-and-fix methods rather than predict-and-prevent approach.
“Now, we are introducing remote condition monitoring using non-intrusive sensors for continuous online monitoring of signals, track circuits, axle counters and their sub-systems of interlocking, power supply systems including the voltage and current levels, relays, timers,” said a senior Railway Ministry official
The system would include the collection of inputs on a pre-determined interval and sending them to a central location.
As a result, any flaws or glitches in the signaling system would be detected on a real-time basis and rectified to avoid possible mishaps and probable delays. The failure of signals is one of the main reasons for train accidents and delays.
As of now, remote monitoring of signaling is operational in Britain.
The system envisions data transfer through a wireless medium (3G, 4G and high-speed mobile) and data based on these inputs will be utilized, with help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), for predictive and prescriptive Big Data analytics.
This will enable prediction of signaling asset failures, automated self-correction and informed decisions on intervention strategies, as per the official.
The trial will be conducted in two sections of Western Railway and South Western Railway at Ahmedabad-Vadodara and Bengaluru-Mysuru and gradually the system will be extended to other sections.