What's New Alert
4.1 The goals of new technologies are to improve safety through reduced human dependence, intervention and improved asset reliability and at the same time reduce costs as the most costly technology may not be necessarily the safest. In this direction, rail-wheel interaction has to be the thrust area with a view to reduce wears and tear of both rail and rolling stock. Greater association of industries, technologies, R&D institutions and Department of Science & Technology (Ministry of HRD) will have to be ensured in the development of new technology. The increased periodicity or reduced frequency of maintenance will be another priority area. Appropriate technologies will be adopted in phases during the Plan period.

4.2 Track & Bridges
  • Rail flaw detection
  • Rail grinding
  • Track management system
  • Optimisation of schedule of dimensions
  • Improved thermit welding
  • Formation/Rehabilitation
  • Improved fastening
  • Improved high-speed turnouts
  • Bridge management system
  • Under-water inspections of bridges
  • Mapping of unknown foundations and integrity testing of foundations
  • Non-destructive testing techniques like Ultra Sonics, Acoustic Emission, Strain Gauging and Radar etc.
  • ki Fatigue life and residual life assessment techniques
4.3 Rolling Stock
  • Achievement of zero defect in between two scheduled maintenance of rolling stock
  • Disc brakes with microprocessor controlled wheel slide/slip prevention mechanism<
  • Aerodynamic designs
  • Radial and self-steering bogies
  • Wheels and axles of improved metallurgy
  • On-board diagnostics
  • Intelligent brake system in locomotives and other rolling stock
  • Censors for detecting dragging equipment, Hot-boxes, Hot wheels
  • Crash worthiness in coaches
  • Tight lock CBC couplers with anti-climbing features
  • New environmental friendly paint system
  • Bogie mounted brake system
  • Rail-wheel interaction status, including development of track friendly bogies, Wheel flat detection system, on-line monitoring of rail and wheel
  • profiles
  • Derailment detection devices
  • Driver friendly cabs in locos
  • Guard friendly brake van
  • Disaster Management
  • Fire-proof coaches
  • Modification in toilet discharge system in coaches to prevent rail corrosion
  • Computer controlled master-slave multiple loco operation for heavier/longer trains (locotrols)
  • Solid state interlocking
  • Last Vehicle Check and end of train telemetry devices
  • Train Protection and Warning System
  • Anti-Collision Device
  • Train Actuated Warning Device
  • Mobile Train Radio Communication System
4.5 General
  • Driver vigilance control device
  • Predictive maintenance techniques
  • Ergonomic and eco-friendly practices
  • Remote monitoring and data recording analysis for maintenance/replacement decisions
(The list is not exhaustive as new areas for improving productivity with further technological developments will become available in future.)

4.6 Information Technology (IT)

One of the goals would be to reduce drudgery and to utilise manpower for more innovative and productive purposes. The Indian Railways would like to have much more asset reliability and higher safety through continuous monitoring of state of health of the assets and feedback. For all these, the IR will have to work on IT-based projects to solve problems and inculcate an IT culture.

Few applications of IT, related to safety, would be in following areas :-

  • Track and bridge management
  • Emergency response including accident and disaster management
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Train protection and Warning System
  • Mapping of rail network and tracking of trains using Global Positioning System (GPS
  • Computer aided remote controlled signalling and train describer system with display panels
4.7 Research and Development ( R&D)

The aim is to achieve a high quality R&D staff in addition to absorption and assimilation of new technology. The functions of Research, Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) may undergo a major shift. Railways expenditure on R&D, as a proportion to gross earnings, has been about 0.2% only, which may be suitably stepped up as recommended in many studies.

It is proposed to build a scientific cadre in RDSO to provide a continuity in R&D efforts and consequently achieve high quality of research and development.

At present, RDSO is seized of wheel impact load detector, crashworthy coach design, prevention of rock falls in cuttings, datalogger for Ultra Sonic Flaw Detection (USFD) machines, development of track side bogie monitoring system, development of test-track facility, development of measuring wheel technology etc. Technology mission on railway safety is being launched in association with IIT/Kanpur and Department of Science and Technology (Ministry of HRD) to tackle some burning issues like wheel flat detection, problem of visibility during foggy weather etc.

Following items will also be pursued during the Plan period :

  • Laying of long-welded rails over bridges
  • Vibration signature analysis and development of rail vehicle based testing car
  • Continuous foundation scour monitoring using Time Domain Reflectometry
  • Wheel flat detection
  • Visibility problems during foggy weather