EMERGING TRENDS IN SIGNALLINGON INDIAN RAILWAYS
Adviser (Signal),Railway Board
Railway Signalling systems world over are provided not only to make optimum useof the existing line capacity , but also to provide safe train operation by reducing human dependence. Now in the 21st century , modern signalling systems provide ananswer for a reliable, safe and viable train operations. Large scale induction of modernsignalling systems for train control are expected to pave the way for higher levels of speed, safety and passenger comforts in train operations. It is expected that important routes on IR will be equipped with ATP system or its variants like ATC, ETCS etcduring the next decade or so. These routes will be worked on automatic block signalling system with majority of the stations equipped with solid state interlockings. This paper briefly outlines various safety related signalling systems, which play asignificant role in safe, speedier and efficient train operation.
1.1Railways started in India with the first historical train journey between Bori Bunderand Thane in 1853. The railway network thereafter was gradually introduced inmany other parts of the country. However, initially for about 40 years the trainswere run on messages or candle light signals without any signalling and interlockingarrangements. The concept of signaling and interlocking was first introduced on28 crossing stations between Lahore and Ghaziabad in the country in 1892. Colourlight signaling was introduced on Indian Railways by GIP Railways in 1928 betweenBombay VT and Byculla stations. The pace of modernization of signaling , however,picked up only after independence.1.2Today, over 82% of total 6853 stations on Indian Railways are provided with someform of signalling and interlocking arrangements. Over 54% of total interlockedstations on Indian Railways are now provided with colour light signalling. IndianRailways have a multiple gauge network of 63,028 route kms., out of which about16001 route kms. is electrified.1.3With the rapid growth of passenger and goods traffic and its requirement forspeedier and safe movement, the need for a modern railway signalling system has become imperative. Today signalling arrangements are required to provide,inter alia, the following :-
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