Saturday, January 30, 2016

AGRA: Soon, no more hours-long train delays in the name of fog. Railways is conducting test trial of thermal imaging technology on express train so that trains operate normally even in dense fog.

The technology which is being used by firefighter department, defence forces on land, air and sea is expected to boost the railway operations for civilian purposes.

Speaking to TOI, chief public relation officer of North Central Railway, Bijay Kumar said, "We have installed a thermal imaging camera on Allahabad-New Delhi 'Prayagraj Express', and till now it has performed satisfactorily during dense fog, when majority of trains were being late due low visibility."

He said, "The ability to see path or any obstacle on track in dense fog or in night increases up to several meters from the thermal imaging camera installed on train, which uses infrared radiation coming out from object/creature and forms a digital image on screen showing clear thermal image. This capability of seeing helps to operate trains smoothly."

"Though, the current thermal imaging camera system in train which cost up to Rs 70 lakh, gives only 150 meter visibility which is far less than what the loco pilots requires to run a high speed train, as there is immense risk of not being able to see the signal during run because of restricted visibility," he claimed.

On anonymity, a senior loco pilot of an express train said, "Travelling on high speed corridor with restricted visibility in night and dense fog is similar to driving a car on highway without headlamps on. A lot of improvement is required in the system. A train cruising at the speed of even 50kmph with 150 meter visibility in fog, can lead to a terrible accident, as train requires at least 350 meters to stop in emergency situation."

As per railway official, the Research Design and Standards Organisation of railway is working on thermal technology, to meet the required demand with the system.

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