Railways to buy state-of-art system to run 1,000 trains without guards
As the dedicated freight corridor is set to become operational next year, the guard service in freight trains would become a thing of the past; reason being the wagons would be fitted with a device called End to Train Telemetry (EoTT) that would make it possible to monitor coaches/wagons by letting the locomotive driver know about wagons running status.
According to a senior official, the Ministry of Railways has initiated the process to procure the EoTT device to run about 1,000 trains without guards. Global tenders worth of Rs 100 crore for acquiring the device would be floated soon as preparations are in the final stage, the official said.
The objective behind installing such sophisticated devices is to do away with the deployment of guards in each freight train. The corridor would equip the rear end of a wagon with this modern electronic system at an estimated cost of Rs 5 lakh.
According to a Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC) official, the driver would monitor the train movement through EoTT device and there will be no need of guards and with the installation of such devices, the DFCC would be able to able eliminate service of 1,000 guards. "It's economically viable too as a guard costs about Rs 12 lakh a year to Railways, while a set of the EoTT device would cost around Rs 5 lakh," the official said.
Elaborating about the device, the official said, "The EoTT system comprises of two units --- one unit called cab display unit (CDU) fitted on the locomotive while the other is sense and brake unit (SBU) fitted on the last coach or wagon of the train. Both the units are fitted with a radio transmitter which communicates with each other." In case of a train parting, the system is designed to indicate to the driver the parting of the train and to apply brakes to the rear unit, thus averting collision of the rear portion with the front portion of the train.
The Ministry of Railways would acquire 1,000 EoTT devices in its initial stage for its container operations and later on more such units would be procured for all trains, including passenger trains, the official said, adding that the plan is to run all goods trains on the proposed dedicated freight corridors using EoTT system.
"There is a transmitter fitted on a locomotive and a receiver that is fitted on the end of the last vehicle. The transmitter and the last vehicle receive exchange signals at regular intervals to ensure that the train is running with all wagons," the official said. "If there is a break in the communication between the two units, the driver gets a signal that the train has parted and the transmitter unit, which is fitted at the end of the train's last wagon, is connected to the brakes and it exhausts the brake pipe air and applies brakes to the broken away portion of wagons to avert collision," the official explained.
The End of Train Telemetry (EoTT) equipment is used to establish communication between the locomotive driver and the last wagon of the train to ensure that the train is running with all coaches/wagons as a complete unit. The equipment is designed to do the guard's job by giving indication to the loco driver in case of parting of coaches or wagons from the rear side of the train.
EoTT system comprises two units one unit called cab display unit (CDU) fitted on the locomotive and the other is sense and brake unit (SBU) fitted on the last coach or wagon of the train. Both the units are fitted with radio transmitter which communicate with each other.
In case of a train parting, the system is designed to indicate to the driver the parting of the train and to apply brakes to the rear unit, thus averting collision of the rear portion with the front portion of the train.