Mumbai News: Central Railway Commissions New Signalling System At CSMT To Eliminate Delays In Train Services

Mumbai News: Central Railway Commissions New Signalling System At CSMT To Eliminate Delays In Train Services

The Electronic Interlocking (EI) system, a state-of-the-art signalling technology, enhances safety and efficiency by replacing traditional Route Relay interlocking systems with computerised control. Train delays at CSMT were linked to a railway board circular issued in 2021 by the signal and telecom directorate.

Prathamesh KharadeUpdated: Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 01:47 PM IST
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Mumbai News: Central Railway Commissions New Signalling System At CSMT To Eliminate Delays In Train Services | File

Mumbai: Central Railway (CR) services are expected to operate on schedule as a new signalling system was commissioned on June 1 for the first time. This improvement follows authorisation to modify the software, allowing trains to enter and depart Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) without delays.

According to a report in Times of India, CR had sought approval from the Railway Board to address major delays caused by a circular following the recent implementation of the Electronic Interlocking (EI) system at CSMT.

What Is Electronic Interlocking?

The EI system, a state-of-the-art signalling technology, enhances safety and efficiency by replacing traditional Route Relay interlocking systems with computerised control. Train delays at CSMT were linked to a railway board circular issued in 2021 by the signal and telecom directorate.

This circular required trains to travel an additional 250 meters before the next train could proceed, compared to the previous requirement of 70 meters from the crossover point. This new rule, in addition to the original 70 meters, added approximately 90 seconds to each train’s schedule, causing delays for about 50 long-distance and 40 local trains daily at CSMT.

Speed Limits Causing Delays, Train Bunching

The delays were worsened by the existing speed limit of 15 km/hr at crossovers, leading to train bunching. Since long-distance and suburban trains share the same tracks, this resulted in cascading delays affecting local train services. CR authorities had requested relaxation of these norms for CSMT, citing its status as a terminating station with low speeds and rare accidents.

CR's chief public relations officer, Swapnil Nila, while speaking to TOI explained, "After the railway board's approval, we have made changes in the software so that clearance to the following train will be given as soon as the existing train crosses the 70 meters instead of the previous 250 meters." To maintain punctuality, CR had to cancel at least a dozen trains until Sunday.

Another CR official noted that while trains would no longer be delayed due to the 250-meter rule, other factors such as signal, Overhead Equipment (OHE), or track-related failures, or the late arrival of long-distance trains into suburban territory, could still cause delays. Nonetheless, the recent software modification is a huge step towards reducing delays and improving the efficiency of train services at CSMT.

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