Help is expected soon with the Railways going ahead with the Rs 110 crore satellite-based system to replace manual tracking of trains to provide its exact position on real-time basis.
The real-time train information system (RTIS) aims to provide train running information to the public through internet, SMS on mobile phones, call centres and through train indication boards at stations.
It will also give information to onboard passengers through the provision of display system inside the coaches.
"Efforts are on to replace the manual recording system with RTIS by connecting 8,000 trains and 8,177 stations across the country," said a senior Railway Ministry official.
To keep track of trains, currently station masters call up the control room at the divisional headquarters every time a train passes their station. Because of this manually controlled system, the information is sometimes inadequate.
As per the plan, Railways is to install loco devices in all locomotives and stations to receive dynamic data on train movement through satellite.
Name of the incoming train, speed, time duration and all relevant information required by passengers will be made available automatically once the system becomes operational.
"Trials are being carried out in certain Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains on a pilot project and the results are very encouraging," said the official.
The system developed by IIT-Kanpur and RDSO uses global positioning system (GPS) and global system (GS) for mobile communication technology to transmit information.
Digital mapping of 8,177 stations of Indian Railways have so far been done. "Since all our control offices are now computerised the system will be utilised for tracking freight trains as well," said the official.
"One can even track a particular train on internet through the RTIS," the official added.
Other advantages of this system is that locomotive running information shall be available in the server which can be analysed to improve its efficiency.
Train running information like location, speed, direction on real-time basis can be analysed to improve the train running in a particular section.
Digital map of the railway station can also be used for linking various station data, yard information, signal information, city and hospital information which will be useful during any emergency.