Indian Railways has undertaken remote condition monitoring of the system, a
new approach for the national transporter, to predict failures through the
effective use of Artificial Intelligence with an aim to reduce the possibility
of signals failing leading to accidents. The new system will be tried out
between Ahmedabad Vadodara on a pilot basis and depending on the success it
will be extended to other regions
The signaling system is vital for safe train operations and the railways
completely depend on the health of its signaling assets along with real time
Currently, the railways follow a manual maintenance system and adopt
find-and-fix methods rather than predict-and-prevent approach.
The railways 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 railways
The system entails the collection of inputs on a pre-determined interval
and sending this to a central location. As a result, any flaws or problems in
the signaling system would be detected on a real time basis and rectified to
avoid possible delays and mishaps.
The failure of signals is one of the major reasons for train accidents and
The public transporter that carries more than 23 million passengers daily
has seen a spate of accidents in the last five years. A parliamentary standing
committee report, presented in October 2016, said between 2003 to 2015, a total
of 239 accidents have happened on the network of the Indian Railways and 208 of
these – or 80% of all accidents – have happened because of derailments.
Currently remote monitoring of signaling is operational in Britain. The
system envisages data transfer through a wireless medium (3G, 4G and high speed
mobile) and data based on these inputs will be utilised, with help of
Artificial Intelligence, for predictive and prescriptive Big Data analytics.
This will enable prediction of signaling asset failures, automated
self-correction and informed decisions on intervention strategies, the sources
The railways have decided that trial be taken up in two sections of Western
Railway and South Western Railway at Ahmedabad-Vadodara and Bengaluru-Mysuru.
Depending upon the feedback, the system would gradually be extended to other