The Indian Railways has evolved from a sluggish mode of transit to a futuristic and high-tech one over the last 76 years of India’s Independence. Since the inception of the Indian Railways in 1853, it has expanded into the third-largest train network in the world. The industry’s brightest minds have accomplished a lot in terms of faster services and safety regulations. From using environment- friendly passenger cabins to running a train without an engine, railways is geared up to reshape train technology like never before
Modern technology improvements are largely responsible for the revitalisation of rail travel in India. These advancements have led to more efficient systems, better infrastructure, and more sophisticated signalling. Moreover, AI-backed rail apps such as RailMitra enhance your travel experience further. So, you have a host of train tools like live train running status, train schedule and more at your fingertips.
Read more to explore how technology has aided in the modernisation of the rail industry.
10 Innovations Transforming the Indian Railways
Emerging digital technologies such as 3D modelling, 5G networks, big data, the Internet of Things, automation, artificial intelligence, and sustainable measures are driving a radical shift in the rail industry worldwide. Below are some outstanding new technologies that the Indian railways is steadily incorporating into its train systems.
- 3D Technology
Train travel hasn’t been much of a pleasure for a long time due to antiquated cabin designs that haven’t changed in decades. To ensure that trains are safe and comfortable for passengers, designers are increasingly turning to 3D modelling software (Make In India Printer).
Modern passengers appreciate features like spacious aisles, reclining seats, and attractive interior design, all of which can be incorporated into a coach’s design. Today, manufacturers can combine vital data (such as parts, subsystems, and more) in the virtual environment, address issues along the process, and design coaches with much ease.
- QR Codes
Maintaining social distance was crucial during the recent COVID-19 pandemic as it simultaneously impacted most of the world. To this end, Indian Railways introduced QR codes for allowing the public access to train stations. It assists railway authorities with contactless verification and makes it easier for security staff to keep track of who is let in and out.
- Artificial Intelligence and Data Science
Adopting AI-based techniques and machine learning, collecting and analysing large amounts of data reveals new insights. These efforts will improve business strategies and present more fruitful results to the Indian Railways..
In the railway industry, big data sets up systems for passenger information, asset management, train communication, and data management. Data science is helping the rail industry improve its ability to predict confirmations and find alternative routes. The chances of getting a confirmed PNR status of a rail ticket have increased by 50%. Modern ticketing systems allow for easy ticket research and purchase.
- Connected Mobility
The transportation system in India is evolving as a result of e-mobility innovations. Commuters on the subway and trains are benefiting from the improvements made to the rail system. The main purpose is to keep people informed and in touch with what’s happening in their lives and facilitate easy and convenient door-to-door transportation booking. People can coordinate their daily activities and travel easily between locations through a unified system or mobility card.
- Drone Technology
Drones are remote-controlled flying robots with GPS and pre-programmed flight plans built into their systems. Drones are increasingly being used in India to keep an eye on railway construction sites, help with crowd control, and keep tabs on maintenance around the country. It is also used for aerial surveys of station yards, fair crowd control, identifying scrap, and assessing the readiness of non-interlocking (NI) operations.
- Cyber Security
It is being pushed for the railroad industry to go digital and upgrade its infrastructure from electromechanical to IP-enabled digital systems. Cyber security has emerged as an integral component as the railway industry embraces new technologies. It is possible to secure railways data systems against hackers by employing cyber security measures.
New technological and procedural procedures are implemented, and existing ones are improved to increase the safety of railway communication networks.
- SMART Coaches
Trains can’t function without their customers. The railway department plans to implement SMART coaches, with features like automated plug-door and foot control, CCTVs with face detection, and an emergency talk-back mechanism to improve the customer experience. This is carried out to ensure the comfort and security of airline passengers.
- Eco-Friendly Transportation
The global movement towards embracing greener means of transportation is having an impact on the railway business. Nearly three billion gallons of diesel fuel are used annually by India Railways. The Indian Railways intend to replace a small percentage with natural gas and plan to increase electrification. With this funding, we can create environmentally friendly, highly efficient, and greener train replacements.
- High-Speed Rail
Through the use of an all-encompassing network, specialised trains, and dedicated rails, high-speed rail technology allows for the operation of trains at speeds much above those of conventional rail travel. Because of the high-speed rail’s average speed of 320 km/h, people may get to faraway places more quickly. Semi-high-speed corridors are just a few examples of the new developments being initiated.
- GPS Train Tracking
Weather and mechanical problems are common causes of delays for Indian trains. You can now monitor the current location of your train in real time with this brand-new feature. The entire diesel engine mechanism of the Indian Railways is equipped with GPS tracking devices. Data is collected by the system’s GPS receiver, processing panel, on-board sensor, and other technical features and then delivered to a data centre for analysis via GPRS service.
The Benefits of Digitization on India’s Railway System
Railways have a fantastic opportunity to not only stay competitive but also increase their overall logistics market share and play a significant part in the transition toward sustainable and greener freight transport, thanks to the development of digital technologies. One cannot overstate the significance of digitization for the Indian Railways. Digital technology is undoubtedly influencing every area of the railway industry.
Some potential benefits of digitization include the following:
- Thanks to improvements in automation, self-diagnostics, and real-time geolocation tracking, trains are becoming much smarter and safer.
- Dependability and productivity in operation are considerably boosted by the implementation of digital control and signalling systems. They eliminate railway signal boxes and copper lines for infrastructure and asset management.
- Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices are opening up new possibilities for damage and collision warning, preventative maintenance, and integration with other systems, government entities, logistics suppliers, and transit modes in the sphere of railway infrastructure.
- Using cutting-edge communications (5G, LTE) and cloud infrastructure (backend), there will be reliable solutions for managing enormous volumes of data without the need for bulky rail-side hardware.
- Rapid self-learning algorithms help EAM systems streamline their dispatching, routing, and preventative maintenance.
- The evolution of monitoring and surveillance technology has led to changes in how railway authorities deal with burglaries, threats, railroad crossings, and driver behaviour.
Soon, passengers on Indian Railways will be able to enjoy more state-of-the-art amenities thanks to the investments being made in cutting-edge train technology. With the upgraded infrastructure, train passengers can have a more efficient, secure, and convenient experience when travelling.
If you require any assistance regarding train services, RailMitra is the best place to go. It gives travellers up-to-date information on their PNR status and train schedule, and it even has an e-catering service for those who want tasty meals on train.