Being able to track the location of an oncoming train is every commuter's dream, and a team comprising railways and IIT-Kanpur should be credited to have taken this dream to realization. Currently available for 36 pairs of premier trains, a newly-developed technology - real-time train running information system allows a passenger to track the location of an oncoming train by just sending an SMS. All that one is required to do is type the train number and SMS it to 09415139139 or 09664139139, and he will soon have the exact location of a train on real-time basis. The entire project has received a funding of Rs.121 crores from the Indian railways, and it is just a matter of time (read 18 months) before the facility gets extended to other trains, too. At the moment, as aforementioned, those passengers planning to travel on Mumbai Rajdhani, Howrah Rajdhani, Dibrugarh Rajdhani, Sealdah Duronto and Shatabdi trains for Bhopal, Kanpur and Amritsar will be able to avail of this facility.
Send an SMS, track your train! (Image credit: Getty Images)
One of the officials was quoted as saying,"It will cost about Rs 50,000 to install a receiver on the locomotive for making the system operational. There will be a centre at New Delhi for receiving data from across the country. We are hopeful that by the end of 2013, all mail and express trains will have the system as the trial run for the pilot project is complete now."
Reports further confirm that CRIS, which is the technology arm of Railways will soon sign an MoU with IIT-Kanpur to flag off the project. Interestingly, passengers will be able to track the precise location of trains not only through their mobile phones, but also through the interactive mode on laptops, 'thereby eliminating the need for a telephonic enquiry,' reports add further.
Early in May, this year, there were reports of a proposal by the Indian Railways getting an approval from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). A crucial step, the approval ensured that this proposal that had been awaiting an ISRO-approval, since two years now, will see Internet surfing in trains, minus data cards a reality, soon. The Railways have achieved a major breakthrough in this respect, since it will be the very first time that an operational train will be equipped with satellite-based Internet. The Railways now have the approval to use the frequency from KU band for using the satellite for Internet. And, the first one to boast of this facility, albeit on a pilot basis first, will be three rakes of the Howrah Rajdhani, for which the Railways have sanctioned Rs.6.30 crores, and the project will begin soon helmed by a Mumbai-based company.