The Central Railway plans to replace the conventional indicators on all its suburban railway stations with LED-based graphical type display indicators in the next two years. Already installed on some stations, these multi-colour graphic indicators are proving to be more effective and commuter-friendly.
Indicators are integral part of the railway's passenger information system (PIS), as they help commuters get details on arrival of the next train on any particular suburban or main stations.
Until now, the CR has upgraded indicators on 19 suburban stations. Capable of showing full name of destinations and halt stations, these indicators are mainly fitted on major stations like CST, Byculla, Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar and Ambernath.
"We have installed 317 LED-based indicators," said a senior railway official. He added that in next couple of years, they plan to upgrade the conventional indicators on other stations with these advanced graphical indicators.
Apart from LED-based graphical indicators, CR has also installed trilingual indicators, which can show details of trains in Marathi, Hindi and English — a long-pending demand of commuters and a section of political parties as well. These indicators have been installed on 13 suburban stations like Kopar, Dadar, Thane and others.
The CR operates about 1,296 local services every day, including 16 with fifteen-car rakes, which ferry about 39 lakh commuters. The train management system, which is installed for effective management of trains running between CST and Kalyan stations, is also connected with indicators as part of the PIS system.
Of the 76 suburban stations on CR, there are indicators on nearly all stations. But commuters complain that indicators on many small stations remain non-functional most of the time. "If any passenger complain about indicators, railway staffers at stations reply that indicators are functional, but there is no announcer to operate them," said Pradeep Mehta, a resident of Parel.