Ensuring safer and secure travel for passengers, the Railways will convert over 2000 coaches as smart coaches to monitor the condition of the wheels, bearings of the train and also the condition of the track in real-time basis.
Equipped with advanced sensors, smart coaches will have the predictive maintenance system to detect the track defects before it could lead to derailments.
Besides multiple sensors, smart coaches will have an Artificial Intelligence based application to predict when a coach may turn faulty which would save the passengers the ordeal of mid-section failure and train detention.
As part of the modernisation, there will be a total 2600 coaches to be retrofitted with onboard coach diagnostic system, IP-based CCTV cameras, automatic temperature controlling mechanism among other features to become smart ones, said a senior Railway official.
This will reduce the checking time and increase the availability of coaches as the predictive maintenance system will ensure the required maintenance in advance.
The official said “The smart coach offers Indian Railways a single-window platform to monitor several key indicators of the train’s health – from coach diagnosis to security and surveillance system. From a passenger’s perspective, the smart coach boasts of a Wi-Fi hot spot information system which means passengers can connect their devices – laptop, tables and mobile phones – to Wi-Fi and watch movies and play songs.”
The retrofitting would cost Rs 16 lakh per coach and all zones would be involved in the exercise to convert 2600 LHB coaches into smart coaches. The Northern zone would make a maximum 600 smart coaches, followed by Western zone 500, East Central zone 300 and South Western zone 200 among other zones.
While Northern Railway will coordinate the whole retrofitting exercise, a railway PSU would float the smart coach tender soon.
Smart coaches would facilitate passengers with information like speed of the running train, last station left and next arriving station, status of running train and likely arrival of the destination.
The system will also have provision of content of demand for entertainment to passengers and also facilitates access to various portals like ordering meals and passenger complaints.
Sensors which will keep tracking of water level inside the coach and accordingly will generate the next watering station for watering of the train. Toilets have also been sensored to facilitate information like clogging of toilets, functioning of exhaust fans in addition to occupancy of the toilets.
The onboard diagnostic system will monitor the wheel axle condition and generate maintenance alarms while the monitoring devices would also indicate faults in track.
Smart coaches are also equipped with fire detection and alarm systems. The system would also control the temperature inside the coach in accordance with ambient temperature and makes the journey more comfortable.