Railway Technology Current Affairs
The first-ever International Rail Coach Expo (IRCE) was in Chennai, Tamil Nadu from 17th to 19th May 2018 to focus on Rail Coaches and train sets. Many reputed rail car and equipment builders showcased their technology and products in this expo.
The three day expo was hosted by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai, under the Ministry of Railways, in coordination with CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) and RITES Ltd. It provided unique platform to bring different suppliers under one roof and create synergy for “Make in India”. It saw participation of train enthusiasts, railway suppliers, designers, developers, and general public.
Integral Coach Factory (ICF)
ICF is manufacturer of rail coaches located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It was established in 1952. It is owned and operated by Indian Railways. It primarily manufactures rolling stock for Indian Railways and also exports railway coaches to other countries including Thailand, Myanmar, Taiwan, Zambia, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Nigeria, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Angola and Sri Lanka. It employs about 11,095 people and manufactures about 2000 coaches per year.
Indian Railways has installed Asia’s largest Solid State Interlocking (SSI) system at Kharagpur in West Bengal. The system will enable station masters to set 800 different routes for trains in a matter of minutes.
Interlocking is a railway signal apparatus that prevents conflicting movements of trains through an arrangement of tracks such as junctions or crossings.
The cutting-edge SSI system technology was installed at a cost of Rs 39 crore. It replaces pre-1989 route relay system that only allowed operators to set maximum 423 routes. The new ensures that no cross-movement takes place.
The SSI software also detect routes particular train can take and inform station masters working at panel. This will help in bringing down operation time and possibility of human error. It will reduce the possibility of accidents.
The software is microprocessor-based and suggests possible routes to station master. Under this system, station master only needs to assign platforms depending on importance of the train, number of coaches and other parameters.