Mangaluru, April 26, 2017: Reports have brought to light that Students of NIT-K, Surathkal have developed a system that provides warning about the passage of trains at unmanned level crossings in advance, thus avoiding accidents.
Students along with faculty, who have been working for nearly a year for Indian Railways, have designed a device that can detect the presence of a train when it is at a fair distance (approximately 5 kilometres) from the location of the level crossing and provide an audio-visual warning so that people and vehicles avoid using the level crossings.
According to Saurabh Sachan, a student in the team, out of 28,607 railway level crossings across India, about 9,340 are unmanned. According to statistics, 40% of total train accidents occur at level crossings and most of them at unmanned crossings.
About the present status of the project, which they took up in association with Indian Railways, Saurabh said they installed the devise at a level crossing at Bondel near Mangaluru in January for field testing to determine the ruggedness and durability of the sensor and indigenously designed circuit.
"Barring certain faults during the initial few days, the device is working fine and it has been successfully sending warnings about the passage of the train at the level crossing. We have been receiving SMS whenever a train is detected," Saurabh told TOI.
Their next plan is to install this device at two locations on either side of the Bondel level crossing.
Shubham Ingale, another student, explained that these three points will form a complete working system. When train crosses one of the two points, the device will trigger an alarm at the Bondel level crossing. Once the train crosses the Bondel level crossing, the alarm will be switched off. "We are conducting a survey of sites along the track to identify suitable sites for placing the outer nodes. One site that is deemed to be suitable is the Jokatte level crossing. We are now currently involved in the installation of the second sensor at this location," he said.
The team is also working on alarm sensors that can be installed in Palakkad division which witnesses elephant deaths on railway tracks. The sensor will detect the movement of elephants on tracks and send signals to the trains passing in that stretch so that accidents can be avoided, said U Sripati Acharya, head of department, electronics and communication, NIT-K, Surathkal.