Is Indian Railways Finally Turning a Corner with Technology & Innovations?
It used to be a terrible plan for tourists to go to far-off areas in India. The lack of airports, train connectivity, and even the cost of private traveling contributed to this predicament. Even if there was a train, tourists had to go to the station and often stood in never-ending queues to purchase their tickets. Today, thanks to modern technologies, railway services are incredibly practical. Indian Railways was founded in 1853, just a few years after the first steam engine was created, and has since grown to become India's most useful transportation system and even more so today. It has adopted various technology innovations over the years to modernize its operations and give passengers better services. Let us wind into the latest technological innovations in the Indian railways:
Given that Indian Railways constitute the backbone of the Indian economy, they significantly impact its growth. The development of railway technology aids in providing the public with value-added services.
Introduction of Futuristic Trains
Indian Railways launched several semi-high-speed rail services to make travel easier for passengers and save them time. This includes the Tejas Rajdhani Express and the engineless, self-propelled Vande Bharat Express. Additionally, Indian Railways is also engaged in the development of the high-speed bullet train project. Not to mention the environmentally friendly solar-powered and CNG-powered trains on the way.
The high-speed, automated Vande Bharat Express trains are a significant accomplishment for India because they were designed and built there. With state-of-the-art amenities, these trains provide a faster, more pleasant, and surprisingly convenient travel experience. The Prime Minister signaled the start of the inaugural Vande Bharat Express, which runs between New Delhi and Varanasi. The train set, produced at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, represents the 'Make-In-India' movement and demonstrates India's engineering prowess.
Smart Cards in Indian Railways
Around 22,600 trains are operated daily in India, and about 2.40 crore passengers travel daily through these trains. This causes heavy rush at train stations, ticket booths, and trains. Indian Railways introduced smart cards so that rail customers could purchase unreserved train tickets from ATVMs (Automatic Ticket Vending Machines) and touchscreen ticketing kiosks to avoid this. A metro or ATM card can be compared to a smart card. It has a microprocessor and can be recharged. Rail passengers must insert their smart cards into the designated locations on the passenger-operated kiosk and choose where to disembark from the train. The necessary ticket is issued, and the relevant ticket fee is automatically deducted from the card. The purchase of a train ticket is an alternative. UTS ticket booking is a different way to purchase tickets online.
One of the most common features of trains in the first world countries is cleanliness. It makes Bio-Tioilets one of the most significant advancements in Indian railways' history. The toilets are now equipped with automatic hygiene and odor control systems. Water taps and soap dispensers are also touch-free sensor-based systems.
Online Meal Delivery in Trains
Indian trains are a well-liked and practical means of transportation that provide passengers with a wide range of amenities. Despite this, it might be difficult for travellers to state their hunger while they are travelling, especially with the food of their choice. Traditionally, IRCTC’s pantry is far off from a great reputation. However, IRCTC has improved its catering on the go over past for years, and the praises for food delivered on Vande Bharat Trains are a strong testament. But in a country like India, wherein we have a vivid variety of cuisines throughout the length and breadth of the country, IRCTC’s standardized food menu is never going to be sufficient. Hence, it has tied up with unique food delivery apps to deliver food on the go. With such food delivery partners, IRCTC’s customers can enjoy a variety of delicious cuisines from the comfort of their train seats.
Indian Railways is able to run more trains on the same track because of the Automatic Block Signaling (ABS) technology, which keeps trains from colliding
Wi-Fi connectivity is one of the most contemporary amenities offered to rail passengers by Indian Railways, the world's largest rail network. Travelers can utilize social media, browse the web, and keep in touch with friends and family while connected to the internet. Business travelers who need to work on the go and students who wish to study online while traveling will find the Wi-Fi service to be especially helpful. Additionally, it enables passengers to research their train trips online. At more than 6000 railway stations across India, free Wi-Fi is accessible.
GPs Tracking Train Tracking System
The Indian Railways' deployment of GPS-enabled tracking devices is another important step towards transforming the travel experience for passengers. It enabled train passengers to follow the whereabouts of their trains in real-time. This enables users to determine their expected travel time to their destination as well as the train's location at the moment. Live train running status also enables passengers to determine the precise time the train will arrive at their station of boarding and debarring. Additionally, trains may be diverted if the weather is hazy or there are any other exceptional situations. Passengers may plan accordingly by knowing the train itinerary thanks to the GPS-enabled tracking system.
Automatic Block Signaling System
The railway track is broken up into segments or blocks. Automatic Block Signaling axle counters are installed at the end of each section to detect the presence of trains and send out control signals that allow the train to enter the following section safely. Indian Railways is able to run more trains on the same track because of the Automatic Block Signaling (ABS) technology, which keeps trains from colliding.
The 400 Vande Bharat trains in the fleet use LHB carriages, according to Indian Railways. Compared to ICF coaches, LHB coaches are stronger, lighter, and more comfortable. Additionally, they can handle faster speeds and have stronger safety features. By 2025–2030, the Indian Railways will gradually swap out their outdated Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches by Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches.
Smart Amenities for Railway Stations
Escalators and lifts are available at Indian railway stations with daily foot traffic of above 100,000. It allows moving products from one platform to another simply and facilitates rail passengers' ability to cross railway tracks. Additionally, there are modern amenities, including well-furnished waiting rooms, cafeterias, book shops, and more, available at the railway station. Additionally, the PPP model is being used by Indian Railways to construct world-class railway stations. Rani Kamlapati Railway Station (RKMP) is India's premier international railway station.