Plans to introduce sleeker trains may not be implemented any time soon, but the Western Railway is all set to substitute its outdated auxiliary warning system (AWS) with the safety mechanism used in European trains, train protection and warning system (TPWS).
The proposed mechanism is a digital monitoring system and requires less maintenance than the auxiliary warning system.
It will help prevent collision of trains and make their run safer.
“We are in the final stages of examining the train protection and warning system and if things go as planned, then we could begin replacing the existing system within three months. However, it would take at least two years for its complete installation on the WR,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.
The replacement was proposed in August 2009, when a local train rammed into a stationary train at Mahim station. Several railway officials then opined that the existing auxiliary warning system, a technology first introduced by the WR in 1986-87 had become outdated and needed to be replaced.
Despite this recommendation, the WR failed to introduce this monitoring system. It recently called tenders to replace old and dilapidated safety system on the Churchgate-Virar stretch, at a cost of Rs 78.75 lakh. These two systems are similar in operational, but different in their mechanism which makes train protection and warning system superior.
There are 508 AWS on the Churchgate-Virar stretch, on both slow and fast lines. On an average, each of these auxiliary warning systems is fitted on tracks at a distance of 700m close to a signal.