Friday, October 2, 2009

Allahabad switches to computerised charting of moving trains

ALLAHABAD: In its continuous tryst to amalgamate the modern technologies, the Allahabad division of North Central Railway is switching over to computerised charting of the movement of trains. This will ensure better and safe movement of trains running in the Allahabad division which extends from Mughalsarai to Ghaziabad near New Delhi. The whole paraphernalia including the hardware and the software have been presently installed in the control room of the divisional railway managers office. The section controllers who were earlier used to work manually drawing the charts are being given training on the computer to streamline the movement of the railway traffic. The computerised charting of trains is technically christened Control Office Application (COA). It is a mission critical 24x7 real time system designed to manage operations of traffic control and maintain punctuality of trains through better decision-making. It is pertinent to mention that the hardware and software for this operation has been developed Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS). Control chart, basically the time distance graphs of train motion, used by section controllers are presently manually made and interpreted. In a step towards full automation of train operations, the process of chart making and its analysis are being fully computerised. Pointedly, there are two servers in the whole operation. One server is the data line server and the other server is the application server. The data line server has complete information about the Allahabad division including the name and number of the stations, number of railway lines, shape of the railway yard, the distances between each individual station, presence of cabins on the ends of stations, presence of level crossing gates whether it is manned or unmanned, data about various kinds of signals between the stations. The data line server has comprehensive information about the stations and the railway route. The application deals with the operational part charting the running of trains and forecasting paths for new trains automatically and efficiently. While making the computerised charting, the mail/ express trains are shown through red lines, goods trains are shown through green lines while the passenger trains are depicted through blue line. There are presently six sections in the entire Allahabad division of North Central Railway stretching from Mughalsarai to Ghaziabad. These sections are Mughalsarai-Allahabad, Allahabad-Kanpur, Kanpur-Tundla, Tundla-Ghaziabad and two exclusive sections Kanpur-Rura and the saturated GMC Kanpur Yard. There are about altogether 153 stations including block huts in the Allahabad division from Mughalsarai to Ghaziabad which are handled by the different section controllers sitting in the control room. Each section of the Allahabad division is being handled by a section controller. He is in regular touch with all the station masters of the stations within his section through telephone and keeps track of the movement of the different trains including mail/express, passenger and goods trains of his section. No sooner than a train passes a particular station, the section controller gets the information of that train passing that particular station through the concerned station master. He records the movement of the train manually on a graph known as master chart. The distance ( in kms) is shown on the X-axis while the time is depicted on the Y-axis. X-axis has the details about the various stations in a particular section. The section controller regularly updates the graph as the train surges on the railway track and records the arriving time at the different stations in his section. But in the computerised charting, the movement of the trains is automatically tracked trough the software. Talking to TOI, RD Bajpai, chief public relations officer of North Central Railway said that there would be qualitative improvement in the work of section controllers due to switching over to the computerised system of charting. The section controller would manage the COA thus ensuring safety of the train operations

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