Indian Railway Network, the third largest network in the world is truly India’s lifeline. Spread over 66,000 Route kilometers the behemoth ferried in excess of 8,000 million passengers in the financial year 2016-17 and an estimated 1,100 million tons of freight in a year over its long distance and suburban network.1
With India’s rapid economic growth and its ascent as a global industrial hub, Government of India has realized the big potential of Indian Railways in contributing to the mass transportation of goods and people and the necessity to modernize the railways infrastructure with an emphasis on comfort, optimization and safety.
With an estimated 275 trains passing through it every single day, Kharagpur station is a vital cog in Indian Railway’s South Eastern Rail operation. As one of the largest stations of India it urgently needed a world-class signaling system to efficiently handle the growing demand for passenger and freight transport.
275Trains pass through everyday
176Trains are passengers trains
Facing stiff competition and a rigorous selection process Ansaldo STS Transportation Systems India Pvt. Ltd., a Hitachi group company was awarded the challenging task of the makeover of the signaling system of one of the major junctions of Indian railway network.
A highly structured approach was needed during pre-testing and testing period considering the mammoth yard had to be commissioned with minimal effect on traffic movement & achieve success at one go. Working under an excruciating timeline, the team planned exhaustive testing both in the office as well as at site to deliver a zero-error system on the day of commissioning and it has successfully completed 1 year of revenue operations on 17th November 2018.
The Electronic Interlocking system, also known as Solid State Interlocking, is aimed to ensure no cross movement during train operations that may result in collision. The new cutting-edge signaling technology allows the path of a train to be set in a way that it must cross several tracks while improving safety and better coordination of Indian Railways train movements.
The impact was loud and clear. Kharagpur Electronic Interlocking has helped Indian Railways to optimize manpower usage and maximize efficiency of train movement. Effecting a steep rise from 423 routes to 800 routes, the system has effectively increased passenger & freight handling capacity of the yard. Socially, the project has a huge impact as around 275 trains ply from Kharagpur to various directions carrying millions of passengers in a day.
Running on Ansaldo STS India Microlok II Electronic Interlocking system, the state-of-the-art signaling system at Kharagpur station has become a reference point for designing big yards with Microlok II & with distributed interlocking. Thus, it is helping Hitachi and Indian Railways to use this experience in planning & execution of Design, Testing, Installation & Commissioning of big yards.
Ansaldo STS has also installed Network Monitoring System (NMS) to monitor the extensive communication network from the central location. The network path was designed strategically so that the redundancy of the path increases. During testing, various creative approaches were taken to reduce the testing timeframe.
Comprehensively, the engineering marvel by Ansaldo STS has enabled
Operator to set the long routes within a territory (470Kms) with a single command
Full management control from a central location and better disaster management.
Hitachi Social Innovation Business through Collaborative creation with Indian Railways by helping the yard accommodate more trains, reduce traffic congestion that helps minimize transit time and help trains become more punctual. The cumulative effect translates to reduction in passenger time, conservation & optimization of resources, decrease in carbon footprint and ultimately help provide a more efficient and safer means of transport to millions of people every day.
- ( Indian Railways, Facts & Figures 2016-17, www.indianrailways.gov.in)