Watching your train approach the city railway station on the screen of your 3G mobile phone may sound like a scene from a sci-fi Hollywood movie, but it is going to become a reality in India soon.
The Northern Railways, which is still not able to provide time updates of trains to passengers, is testing a technology which will enable passengers to track trains on 3G mobile phones.
The plan is proposed to be implemented in 2012 and is currently undergoing trial runs.
“By just dialing a helpline number, passengers can watch live pictures of their trains moving towards the station. The technology will provide live feeds of trains,” said a senior railway officer who did not want to be named.
The technology will be of great help during foggy season when commuters have to wait for long hours for arrival or departure.
“Big screens will also be set up at the railway stations which will give the actual location of the trains. The technology would also help the passengers to know how much time their trains will take to reach that station,” said the officer.
The facility will also be available on the railways website. The technology will provide the speed at which the train is running and how much time it will take to reach the approaching station and its distance from the point along with the pictures.
“This is the next step of the existing SIMRAN technology through which we are currently providing real-time information of 12 trains through text messages and on website www.simran.in,” the officer said.
The technology, jointly developed by IIT-Kanpur and the Bangalore-based RDSO, would go a long way in reducing train accidents due to fog and unmanned crossing.
“The ambitious plan, if implemented properly, has the potential of changing the face of Indian railways. It will make railways safer and will cut the duration of average delays during foggy season,” the officer added.