Railways to procure sensor devices to detect defects on tracks

Railway workers at New Delhi Railway Station Picture by PTI
In order to prevent catastrophic damages to its assets, Indian Railways is going for offshore procurement of high-powered sensor-based equipment, a first-of-its-kind for the public transporter, to detect defects on tracks and rolling stock.

The sensor-based equipment, known as on board condition monitoring system, currently operational in countries like the US, the UK and Israel, will monitor the condition of tracks, coaches, wagons and locomotives, and send early signal to the control room in case of any deficiency.

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"We will purchase 6,800 sensor-based systems to be installed in coaches, wagons and locomotives at an estimated cost of Rs 63 crore," said a senior Railway Ministry official.

Railways will equip the system in selected assets on a trial basis in the current fiscal as it was one of the Rail Budget proposals. The system will be fitted on wheels and the control room will receive signals through vibrations.

The official said the system is operational in railways of the US and the UK, while Israel is using it in its aircraft and helicopter service.

"Any slightest defect on track or rolling stock will be immediately spotted at the control room. Besides, the condition of the assets can be constantly monitored," he said.

Railways will be able to know the exact condition through micro-analysis of data and this will reduce the possibility of sudden catastrophic failures. As a result, the safety aspect of track and rolling stock will be enhanced.

It will also enable the Railways to prepare a predictive maintenance schedule for its assets.

Railways had issued the expression of interest (EoI) seeking response from interested vendors for the Rs 63 crore deal.

"Since it will be procured from outside the country we have sought global response," the official said.

Railways will open the EoI documents on September 7 to know responses from prospective bidders.

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