Railways plan to introduce black boxes

Railways plan to introduce black boxes


soon, finding the root cause of train accidents won’t be that difficult! In an effort to facilitate investigators trying to identify the cause of accidents and assess crew performance, Indian Railways is all set to introduce voice recorders or black boxes. A Railway Ministry official was quoted saying that keeping in mind the safety of train passengers, the national transporter has decided to install the Loco Cab Voice Recording (LCVR) devices in the locomotives. However, the system is still in the developmental stage.

With the help of video/voice recording system in locomotives, invaluable data would be provided to investigators to help them understand the sequence of events leading to an accident and to identify operational issues as well as human factors, including crew performance.

Last month, the national transporter had rolled out smart coaches equipped with sensors that can detect defects in bearings, wheels and railway tracks. The first smart coach was unveiled on September 25 at the Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh.

The Railway Ministry official said that the black box introduced in the smart coach had a multi-dimensional communication interface in order to provide information on passengers and coach condition in real time. To avoid railway accidents and carry out maintenance, these sensors would give constant inputs to those in control rooms and also it would help to improve the efficiency of railway operations.

To provide live recording, at least six cameras have been installed in each smart coach. Moreover, the footage taken from the cameras could be accessed from the control room, which has been connected through the internet and would aid law enforcement agencies when they probe crimes or railway accidents.

At present, the black box is used in aircraft. The system is made of two separate pieces of equipment- a cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder and the black box is usually kept in the tail of the aircraft where they are more likely to survive a crash or an accident.