With a focus on safe and efficient operation of train services, the Railways is partnering with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) under the Technology Mission for Indian Railways (TMIR) programme.
At a high-level meeting convened recently at the Research & Innovation Facility of TCS at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, top officials of the Mission Implementation and Coordination Committee of the TMIR explored the possibility of deploying advanced technology to monitor the stability of bridges and railway tracks.
Launching of drones for safe passage of trains, particularly at unmanned level crossings and fog-affected routes, was also mooted.
According to railway sources, N.S. Vyas, Chairman, IIT-Kanpur, identified asset management, health diagnostics and corrosion-resistant coating for rolling stock/tracks as priority areas where TCS could contribute.
With huge investments expected in the railways in the next five years, safety and reliability were paramount with increasing axle load and frequency of trains.
Prof. Vyas called for advanced communication technology in the train, off the train, train-to-platform etc.
A different way of thinking about technology was required and TCS could partner with the Railways for such innovations, he added.
It may be noted that multiple research centres were established at IITs/Universities to facilitate TMIR bring in new ideas to the Research Designs and Standards Organisation of the Indian Railways that approves new technologies for implementation, the sources said.
The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of train accidents due to rail fractures in the recent past. The meeting underscored the need for rail cloud data and analytics for actionable intelligence across multiple applications.
Steel for high speed tracks using TATA Steel Corus Technology, corrosion resistance coating using nano technology, condition monitoring of rolling stock and introduction of technologies for modernising manufacturing/maintenance facilities were among the initial pilot projects finalised, the sources added.