Indian Railways is one of the world’s largest and oldest railway networks, covering over 68,000 kilometres of track and connecting almost every corner of the country. Established in 1853, just a few years after the first steam locomotive was invented, Indian Railways developed and upgraded itself as India’s most useful transport infrastructure. Over the years, It has embraced numerous technological advancements to modernise its operations and provide better services to passengers.
Major Technological Advancements of Indian Railways
Here is a list of Indian Railways’ top technology revolutions that have modernised the railway systems.
Online Ticket Booking System
The Indian Railways’ implementation of a computerised reservation system is one of the significant technical adoptions. Through this, rail passengers can purchase reserved or unreserved train tickets, cancel train tickets and claim refunds online. Earlier, with the traditional ticket booking system, rail passengers had to stay in long queues or connect with agents to book a train ticket. But today, it’s not the case.
IRCTC’s e-ticketing website and Rail connect app allows passengers to take advantage of the online ticket booking process by creating an account at IRCTC’s official e-ticketing website. The introduction of online ticket booking makes the ticket booking process convenient for rail passengers and reduces the crowd at Indian Railways stations.
The endorsement of Bio-Toilets in train coaches is one of the great technical revolutions to standardise the Indian railway system. The traditional toilet system of railways raises the problem of open defecation along the tracks.
Bio toilets use anaerobic bacteria to convert human waste into water and gas and prevent the fall of human extracts on railway tracks, making the process eco-friendly. The bio-toilets system has improved hygiene and reduced the maintenance cost of trains and Indian railway stations.
The largest rail network, Indian Railways, provides rail passengers with one of the most modern facilities: Wi-Fi connectivity. It allows travellers to connect with the internet to use social media, browse the web, and stay connected with friends and family during their journey.
The Wi-Fi facility is particularly useful for business travellers who need to work on the go and students who want to study online while travelling. Moreover, it also allows travellers to get online information about their train journey. Indian railway’s free Wi-Fi connectivity is available nationwide at over 6000 railway stations.
GPS-enabled Train Tracking System
The adoption of GPS-enabled tracking systems by Indian Railways is another major step to transform the passengers’ journey experience. It allowed rail passengers to track the real-time location of their trains. This helps them know about the train’s current location and calculate the estimated time to reach their destination.
Live train running status also helps the passengers to know when the train will exactly reach their train boarding and deboarding station. Moreover, if because of foggy weather, or any unusual circumstances, trains get diverted. The GPS-enabled tracking system lets passengers know the train route and plan accordingly.
Automatic Block Signalling System
The railway line is divided into sections or blocks. At the end of each section, Automatic Block Signalling axle counters are installed that detect the presence of a train and control signals which let the train enter the next section safely.
The Automatic block signalling (ABS) system is used on railways to ensure trains don’t collide and allows Indian Railways to run more trains on the same track.
Indian Railways endorses LHB coaches in the fleet of 400 Vande Bharat trains. LHB coaches are lighter, stronger, and more comfortable than ICF coaches. They also have higher safety features and can withstand higher speeds.
The Indian Railways will gradually replace its old Integral Coach Factory (ICF) with Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches by 2025-30.
Digitalisation in Railway System
Whether you want to book a retirement on a railway station or parcel your goods with freight trains, you can do each activity online. Now, for any requirements from Indian railways, you don’t need to visit the stations. In addition, if any mishap occurs to you, you can file a complaint online.
The Indian railway system has absorbed numerous digitalisation facilities that help passengers check train ticket status online, know the train schedule, find live train locations, take Rail Madad and much more through a rail app or website. In addition, through IRCTC ecatering, rail passengers can order and get their favourite food delivered right to their seats.
Introduction of Futuristic Trains
Indian Railways introduced semi-high-speed rail services like Tejas Rajdhani Express and the engine-less, self-propelled Vande Bharat Express that can travel up to a top speed of 160-180 kmph to ease the passenger’s journey by saving time.
Moreover, Indian Railways is also working on the project of high-speed bullet trains. Apart, Indian Railways has introduced CNG and solar energy trains to make train journeys more eco-friendly.
Smart Amenities for Railway Stations
Indian Railway stations with a daily footfall of more than 1,00,000 people have received the facility of escalators and lifts. It makes it easy to carry goods from one platform to another and lets the rail passengers cross railway tracks easily.
Moreover, the railway station is also enabled with modern amenities like full-furnished waiting rooms, cafeterias, book stalls, and more. In addition, Indian railways are working towards building World-Class Railway Stations under the PPP model. Rani Kamlapati Railway Station, RKMP, is India’s first-class world-class railway station.
Electrification of Railway Tracks
Indian Railways is making significant strides in enhancing its railway tracks infrastructure to support high-speed rail and freight transportation in India. To achieve this, the railway system is developing dedicated freight corridors exclusively for freight trains while simultaneously broadening the gauge.
Furthermore, the electrification of tracks is being implemented to increase train running efficiency. Additionally, the Indian Railways is doubling the tracks to ensure fewer train delays and less congestion of trains.
Leveraging technical advancements in Indian Railways is to make train journeys comfortable and modernised.
How technological advancement is easing train journeys?
The integration of Technology in Indian railways lets the system work smoothly by ensuring passengers’ safety. Moreover it also eases the maintenance work of Indian railways like detecting defects in trains, optimising trains schedule and much more.
With these technological advancements only, passengers can check trains between stations to plan journeys, fetch live train running status, train arrival and departure and much more online. They can even use a food-tech app to order a journey meal on the train.
RailMitra is a tech-empowered app to help rail passengers to get train live running status, train schedule, and much more online.