Central Railway has introduced the Fog Safety Device (FSD) to tackle the foggy weather. This cutting-edge technology aims to assist loco pilots when faced with poor signal visibility, mitigating risks associated with low visibility conditions.
"In foggy weather, train speeds typically range between 30-60 kmph, impacting both long-distance and suburban trains. The fixed time slots in the existing timetable become a challenge when delays in long-distance trains spill over into the suburban sections. This ripple effect disrupts the punctuality of suburban trains, crucial in densely populated cities like Mumbai, where trains run at intervals as short as four to six minutes," said an official.
According to Central Railway, the FSD proves to be a game-changer in this scenario. By allowing a maximum speed of up to 75 kmph during low visibility conditions, the FSD minimises train detention periods and enhances overall punctuality. This innovation directly addresses the challenges posed by fog-related delays, providing relief to both passengers and railway operators.
Central Railway to procure additional 500 FSDs
"Central Railway has deployed a total of 497 Fog Safety Devices across various divisions, underlining its commitment to leveraging technology for the safety and efficiency of train operations, especially in adverse weather conditions. The strategic distribution of these devices aims to cover a wide range of routes, ensuring a comprehensive approach to enhancing safety," said an official adding that in a proactive move, Central Railway is set to procure an additional 500 Fog Safety Devices, with orders already placed. This expansion plan includes the distribution of 120 devices specifically for the Mumbai division, a critical area where timely and efficient suburban train operations are imperative.
"By embracing innovative solutions, the railway network not only enhances safety measures but also ensures the seamless functioning of train services, even in challenging weather conditions," said Shivraj Manaspure, chief public relations officer, of Central Railway.
How does it work?
The device operates on GPS technology, providing advance notification to loco pilots regarding the upcoming three signals through both audio and visual indications.
Fog safety device not only calls out and displays the description of the next signal but also indicates the intermediate distance between the locomotive and the signal, ensuring better preparedness for the upcoming changes.
All signals and level crossing gates across various crew routes have been meticulously mapped through GPS locations and programmed into the device, ensuring comprehensive coverage.
By announcing signal aspects 500 meters before their actual location, Loco Pilots are prompted to be more vigilant and better equipped to handle their trains safely.
The device gives special emphasis to critical signals located on the Right Hand Side (RHS), ensuring heightened attention and safety measures.
Total number of FSD installed in Central Railways: 497
Mumbai Division: 10 devices
Bhusawal Division: 248 devices
Nagpur Division: 220 devices
Solapur Division: 9 devices
Pune Division: 10 devices
Order placed - Total 500 FSD
Mumbai Division: 120
Pune Division: 80
Bhusawal Division: 100
Solapur Division: 80
Nagpur Division: 120