Thales are set to be a major player in helping to roll out Indian Railways’ “zero-accident mission”, providing some of the latest technology to improve the safety of India’s extensive rail network. Indian Railways have chosen to work with Thales and their signalling system known as the European Train Control System (ETCS), to drive accidents down to zero.
Thales are currently implementing a pilot Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) to prevent train accidents resulting from driver failures on a 68 km line near Chennai. The pilot project is due to be completed by the year-end, and the system is eventually set to be installed on 7,900 hm of lines across the country over the next five years.
The TPWS technology will prevent train accidents by automatically activating brakes if the train driver fails to observe a signal. Electronic loops are placed between 50 and 450 metres on the approach side of stop signals, and the distance separating the loops controls the speed of the train. Another pair of loops are placed at the signal to indicate danger. Loops at the signal which can detect speed will also function to stop a train if it runs past a signal. Inside the train, a TPWS panel linked to loops is installed. The TPWS is being spoken of as a ‘fool proof’ system to prevent train accidents.
A total of 2600 ETCS on board systems are set to be installed on Indian trains. Two projects in the Kolkata region are currently on tender.
(CC image courtest of Smeet Chowdhury from Flickr)