• The Indian Railways is harnessing the power of data analytics for integrated transportation.
  • It has commenced a project which will now enable real time tracking of train movements with the assistance of satellite imagery under the Real Time Train Information System (RTIS) project.
  • K. Singh, Managing Director, Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), said that the CRIS has collaborated with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for live tracking to help Railways run trains efficiently.
  • Singh, and the Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw, spoke on the sidelines of a conference on ‘Reimagining Indian Railways: Harnessing the Power of Data Analytics for Integrated Transportation’ here on March 3.
  • ISRO has developed its own regional navigation satellite system called Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) and Bhuvan, a web-based utility which allows users to explore a set of map-based content being deployed for tracking.
  • We have taken bandwidth from ISRO and integrated our systems with NavIC and Bhuvan.
  • Every locomotive is fitted with a device and a SIM, which communicates the train’s real position to the satellite and feedback is received. The movement is updated every three seconds
  • Real-time tracking of trains is also useful during accidents, floods and landslips, when there is a need to pin down the train’s exact location for rendering help.
  • Until now, 4,000 locomotives have been installed with the technology, and new locomotives that are being manufactured come pre-installed with the tracking devices.
  • The Railways is tapping into data analytics to improve passenger experience, help chart out empty seats, and enable more passengers to receive confirmed tickets.
  • Nearly 2.3 crore passengers travel on the Indian Railways every day, of which 30 lakh passengers travel on reserved tickets, while about two crore passengers travel via the unreserved ticketing system
  • The CRIS has now developed a hand-held device that can help reduce queues by providing tickets on platforms to unreserved passengers.
  • Singh said that the CRIS has identified 90 cases where AI can be used for improving Railways services, including seat allocation, prediction analysis on when freight trains will be emptied, and balancing stocks of medicines across the Railways health infrastructure.


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