The Indian Railways trains to be live tracked with the power of ISRO satellites. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has installed a real-time Information System (RTIS) on locomotives for automatic acquisition of train movement data, including that of arrival, departure and run-through timings at the stations en route. 

The RTIS project is being executed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), which is an Information Technology arm of the Ministry of Railways, in collaboration with ISRO. With installations of RTIS devices being completed in about 2649 passenger and goods train locomotives till date, train controllers can now track the location and speed of RTIS enabled locomotives/trains more closely, without any manual intervention, facilitating the train control functions.

At the moment daily updates are at 14 million, but with the RTIS systems daily updates will be at 30 million in a year. 

The control chart of trains hauled by RTIS enabled locomotives gets plotted automatically in the Control Office Application (COA) system already implemented in the control offices. The RTIS also gives mid-section location updates, including the current speed of the train, with a periodicity of 30 seconds. With the entire network expected to be covered in a year’s time, the radical change of track, embracing satellite technology and upgraded locomotives, the IRCTC plans to revamp the Indian railway’s system within the next 3 to 4 years.

Apart from knowing the exact location and speed of a train, the “ ISRO-aided system will help us (IRCTC) in future planning. In case of a disaster, the driver can directly communicate with the control room by just pressing a button”, said Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav added. According to Mukesh Nigam, Managing Director of CRIS, said that there are nearly about 14 million daily updated at present, up from a mere half a million before January 2019. Yet, once all 12,000 locomotives are equipped with the system in a year, the volume of data is expected to rise to 30 million updates daily.

Now the only concern is, what if the 30 million daily updated become too voluminous to handle for the IRCTC remaining merely as statistics?

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