Mumbai: To enhance safety and prevent potential mishaps, Central Railway (CR) has introduced two new systems in two local trains as a pilot project, namely: the Signal Location Announcement System (SILAS) and the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). These systems, as per the CR, are set to revolutionise the way local trains operate. A senior officer of Central Railway stated that the success of these pilot projects will determine their gradual expansion to cover all local trains. However, motormen are not happy with this move and have threatened to go on a 'Work-to-Rule' agitation starting from October 15 if the railway administration does not stop using ADAS.
The Signal Location Announcement System (SILAS) has been installed in two local trains as a pilot project. This cutting-edge technology relies on GPS and a comprehensive database of signal locations and numbers. "Motormen will receive timely alerts about upcoming signals, including their location (right-hand, left-hand, extreme right, or extreme left) and number. Crucially, it alerts them twice: at 350 meters and 250 meters before approaching the signal," said an official.
"This proactive approach to signal management aims to reduce the likelihood of signal violations, such as the recent incident at CSMT. The system empowers motormen to make informed decisions and prioritize passenger safety," he added.
As part of the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), also fitted in two local trains on a pilot basis, this state-of-the-art technology is designed to monitor motorman behavior and alertness. ADAS incorporates three cameras, strategically placed within the driving cab.
One camera captures the motorman's facial expressions, the second provides a view of the cab, and the third offers a front view of the train's track and overhead equipment through the lookout glass.
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), ADAS continuously assesses the motorman's state. It can detect distractions, drowsiness, mobile phone usage, and even smoking or yawning. In the event of any irregularities, ADAS also provides immediate alerts, ensuring the motorman remains focused on their duty.
"This system (ADAS) doesn't stop there. It can issue early warnings for drowsiness, identify sudden sleep episodes, and recognize unauthorized mobile phone usage during duty. This system also promotes online remote monitoring and enables two-way communication with the motorman and train manager through a server, further enhancing safety measures," further added officials.
According to a senior official, the implementation of SILAS and ADAS in local trains marks a significant step forward in ensuring the safety and security of passengers and personnel. By proactively addressing potential hazards, Central Railway is committed to preventing incidents and accidents, ultimately making train travel in the region even safer.
Chairperson, CR expresses discontent with new systems
Vivek Sisodiya, Chairperson of the Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh Mumbai division unit, expressed discontent with the new systems. He remarked, "We need human assistance; these systems will not assist us but rather add extra pressure on the motormen and train managers." Sisodiya, who is also a motorman, disclosed that a meeting was held in the motorman's lobby on Monday. "During this meeting, it was decided that if the administration does not halt the use of CCTV cameras in the drivers' and train managers' cabs of local trains, we will be forced to start a 'work-to-rule' agitation starting from October 15th," said Sisodiya.