RAILWAY DISASTER PREVENTION SYSTEM USING GIS and GPS
Symbiosis Institue Of Geoinformatics,
India's massive rail network is hit by an average of 300 accidents a year. The train disasters are spatial events happening as a result of range of factors such as human error, antiquated communication and safety equipment, signal systems, ageing bridges and tracks, increase in number of trains and freight traffic, and at times natural calamities.
Most of the times, the existing conventional signal systems rely on the oral communication through telephonic and telegraphic conversations as input for the decision making in track allocation for trains. There is a large scope of communication gap due to the high human interference in the system. This miscommunication may lead to wrong allocation of the track for trains, which ultimately leads to the collision of trains. Moreover the foggy condition also plays an important role in accidents. The statistics in the developing countries showing that 80% of worst collisions occurred so far is due to either human error or incorrect decision making through miscommunication in signaling and its implementation.
The real time for viewing of actual current positions of the trains at various locations is possible with the continuous tracking of rail traffic with the aid of Geographic Positional System (GPS) installed in the trains. The latest developments in the GPS technology may provide positional accuracy upto 2m. But the real time dynamic location information provided by GPS equipment can be utilised as the input for the signaling system to aid as the refinement tool for decision making in allotment of the track for trains. The scope for the human error can be eliminated by effective utilisation of the integrated system.
The proposed system contains two major components of Geographic Information system (GIS). The static data contains detailed mapping of the rail network as a spatial database in GIS platform. The dynamic data regarding the movement of rail traffic can be collected through the GPS equipment installed in train, signaling cabin and station supervisor’s cabin with the help of internet services which is available in the train. The GIS enabled “Rail tracing system” takes the input signals from the near by GPS installed in trains and continuously displays the positions of the trains in the vicinity of the interested area to enable the decision makers of signaling to view the realistic situation.
The databases can be made available for all the concerned authorities through Internet and intranet facilities. This connectivity definitely enhances the mutual cooperation of the authorities to accomplish the task with more efficiency.
The integrated GIS & GPS technology offers enhancement for the existing signaling system to avoid the human error in making the decision for traffic signaling and also provides continuous monitoring of the train movement on the tracks to ensure much more safety in the rail network operations. With the effective utilisation of the advantages provided by the GIS, the spatial database efficiently helps in rescue planning and preventing train disasters.
*Student, Symbiosis Institute of Geoinformatics, Pune.