Indian Railways may soon launchreal-time tracking of trains on Google maps that can be accessed through mobile devices and PCs. The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), the technology arm of the Indian Railways, has developed a GPS-based solution with help of Indian Space Research organization (ISRO), which can provide exact location of a train with an accuracy of 10 metres, and latency of 2 minutes, on a real-time basis.
ISRO’s INSAT-3C satellite will aid in location of moving trains. The information will be used for avoiding collisions, train scheduling and also for helping passengers to know the exact train location for their travel planning.
The GPS devices would be fitted in about 100 trains, enabling the trains to know each other’s location and thus avoiding collision. The GPS application is also expected to aid in better planning of train schedules, especially in bad weather.
CRIS has integrated the GPS app with Google Maps, making the real-time location available to passengers as well, on their mobile or computer. The facility to track train movements will soon be available on the Indian railway website at indianrailways.gov.in.
Last year, Indian Railways had announced the project Satellite Imaging for Rail Navigation (SIMRAN) jointly with IIT-Kanpur for a similar tracking portal, which is currently in pilot stage with several trains including Rajdhani and Shatabdi.