NEW DELHI: Railways today joined hands with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for effective use of space technology tools in introduction of web-enabled rail user-centric services, remote sensing and graphic information system (GIS) based applications.
Terming the inking of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) as "not the marriage of convenience but the marriage of necessity", Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said the initiative would help both Railways and ISRO.
He also pitched for use of technology by the railways to solve day-to-day problems and asked the national transporter to keep modernising by constantly updating itself with the latest technology.
"We need to use technology for solving day-to-day problems. Lot of changes have taken place over a period of time. Our challenge is not just to use technology but how to constantly keep update with the technology. Railways have to keep modernising," Prabhu said during the signing of the MoU.
ISRO Deputy Director P G Diwakar and Railway Board Executive Director (Telecom Development) Shobhan Chaudhuri signed the MoU for developing applications in the field of remote sensing and Graphic Information System (GIS).
The MoU will enable use of space technology tools in providing passenger information for all trains, indicating next station/stoppage, real-time train-tracking, survey of new rail route alignments particularly in hilly and difficult terrains.
It will also aid in conducting track vulnerability studies, mapping of assets, audio–visual warning to road users at unmanned level crossing gates and introduction of web-enabled rail user-centric services.
Currently, Railways is using space technology for providing connectivity to Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters and unreserved ticketing system at remote and non-rail head locations.
Besides this, the technology is being used for emergency communication using satellite phones from disaster sites, Global Positioning System (GPS) for various applications like remote monitoring of locomotives, passenger information system in Mumbai suburban trains, synchronised clocks and WiFi facility in select Rajdhani Express trains.
Besides Prabhu, Union Ministers Jitendra Singh and Manoj Sinha were present.