CHENNAI:Displays of erroneous train timings at railway stations and inaccurate data in NTES portal, which is supposed to provide real-time information on trains, will soon be things of the past with the Indian Railways deciding to end the manual updating of trains.To this effect, the railways has begun to update the arrival and departure of trains at railway stations with data loggers also called data recorders. It is an electronic device that records the data over time in relation to the location of trains with built-in instrument or sensor.
The data loggers have been fitted in 41 stations across the country, including Chennai and Jolarpettai, according to official railway sources.Currently, the position of trains is being updated manually by railway staff involved in operation of trains at different levels including loco pilot, guard, station master, section engineers and station control room. Accordingly the delay in arrival and departure of the trains is revealed to public at stations.
Mostly rail passengers are given inaccurate information on train delays to protect the punctuality of trains. Particularly, passengers of intermediate stations and passengers who wait for long distance trains at major stations are worst affected.Once the data loggers get linked with electronic display board, passengers will get the accurate delay of trains automatically.
“The axles of an entire train including loco and coaches will be scanned through sensor and its movement gets automatically updated in data logger system. The system fitted at the Chenai Central and Jolarpettai is accessible to railway officials now. Once the data loggers get interlinked to electronic display boards, passengers will get accurate information of train arrival and departure,” explained a senior official.In addition to this, the data loggers will also be linked with the national train enquiry system (NTES), a web portal for real-time monitoring of trains.
In October 2014, the NTES portal was launched by the Centre of Railway Information System (CRIS) to enable the rail passengers to monitor the position of trains online. The inputs on train position were put into the NTES manually.Though the portal had immensely helped passengers get exact arrival and departure of trains for a few months, it was subsequently fed inaccurate data to boost the punctuality of trains.
“Once the data loggers are linked with NTES portal, the train positions will get updated through automated system. And, passengers will be able to check the exact delay of trains online or through mobile application,” said a senior official.So far, official records of train punctuality released by Indian Railways periodically have been the data obtained through the Integrated Coaching Management System, an online system from CRIS.