Jul 26, 2014

Passengers face travel disruption caused by storms

Several train services cancelled on Saturday due to earlier stormy weather, as airports face one of their busiest weekends on record
Commuters at Paddington Rail station try to get information from rail staff after discovering they are unable to travel because of disruption to signals between London and Reading caused by a thunderstorm Photo: LNP

Passengers continued to face disruption on Saturday as the aftermath of sudden storms saw more travel problems.

Thousands of people were affected by delays and cancellations on busy commuter routes on Friday as the weather took a turn for the worse.

There were seven cancellations to services by First Great Western on Saturday "due to poor weather conditions earlier", its website said.

South West trains said their engineers had worked through the night to avoid further delays.

"Our teams continued to work through the night to ensure that trains and train crew are in the correct positions to enable us to operate our full timetable from the start of service on this morning," they said in a statement.
Source..telegraph

Anti-collision devices hold the key, says rail body

Being developed by the Railways, the TCAS is currently undergoing field trials. In the context of Thursday’s accident involving a train ramming a school bus, resulting in deaths at an unmanned level crossing (UMLC), the TCAS assumes significance.

Could Thursday’s collision involving a train and school bus in Medak district have been prevented if a Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), currently undergoing field trials, were in place?

Yes, say experts at the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), the technical wing of the Indian Railways that indigenously developed the promising new safety device. Its features include automatic braking of locomotives when they confront each other on the same track, preventing a train from passing through a red signal by tripping its speed, keeping a tab on the speed beyond prescribed limits at various track sections.

In the context of Thursday’s accident involving a train ramming a school bus, resulting in deaths at an unmanned level crossing (UMLC), the TCAS assumes significance.

Officials of RDSO are confident of adding a feature wherein there would be a continuous, high-pitched whistle both from an UMLC and the approaching locomotive, to warn road users trying to cross the tracks.

The whistle would automatically start once a locomotive touches the 300-metre mark on either direction at the UMLC, said Mahesh Mangal, Senior Executive Director-Signal at the RDSO. Once installed, the TCAS will constantly update the locomotive pilot, information pertaining to the location of a signal, an UMLC, the safe distance that the train can move and permissible speeds.

TCAS is based on a combination of railway signalling data with radio communications, global position, radio frequency identification devices (RFID), software and logic and is said to be the first-of-its-kind. It comprises three main sub-systems-Loco TCAS the onboard equipment, Station TCAS deployed at stations and level crossings and RFID tags on the tracks, at one each per kilometre.

The device, with European Level II safety features, promises to prevent train accidents and based on successful trials. Officials are confident that the TCAS would be far more effective than all other safety devices.

As for the cost, installation of TCAS would cost about Rs.10-12 lakh per route km and the project cost is estimated at about Rs.7,000 crore for Indian Railways. This will cover about 64,000 route km, all the 6,000-odd stations, 8,000 to 10,000 Interlock level crossing gates and the 10,000-odd locomotives (engines) and take five years to implement, officials said.
Source..the hindu

 

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