The Indian Railways has installed new Electronic system replacing outdated 65-year old mechanical signaling system at Tundla Jn in Uttar Pradesh on the route to pave way for safer, faster, efficient and more punctual train operations on New Delhi-Howrah route. With this new interlocking system at Tundla, the second largest in the country after Kharagpur Station in South Eastern Railway, train handling capacity at Tundla Junction has improved to 250 per day from existing 200 maximum, a Ministry of Railway statement said.
With this upgrade, faster movement of Medical Relief Train during accidents becomes possible, it said. Indian Railways stated that most advanced Electronic Interlocking System has been installed on the Grand Chord route. The measure is expected to help Indian Railways speed up trains and to achieve the objective of reducing the travel time between Delhi and Howrah to about 12 hours from the existing 17-19 hours.
Grand Chord is part of the Howrah-Gaya-Delhi line and Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line. It is a link between Sitarampur, (West Bengal) and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction, Uttar Pradesh, and covers a stretch of 450 km in North Central Railway (NCR) zone. “The achievement become possible by replacement of the 65-year old outdated Mechanical Signaling System with the most advanced and safer Electronic Interlocking System at Tundla station in Uttar Pradesh now,” the statement said.
Tundla Jn is an important station on this super-saturated route operating 160 percent of its designed capacity. Tundla also connects mainline with Agra Cantt. Jn. Electronic Interlocking work at Tundla Jn has 613 route combinations, which is only second to Kharagpur in South Eastern Railway with 800 routes.
“About 500 people worked day and night without break from 2nd September 2019 to 20th October, 2019 to execute this complex and challenging work in minimum possible time and with minimum inconvenience to public using innovative and out of the box methodologies and meticulous planning,” it said.
Despite being an extremely important point, Tundla Jn was continuing with mechanically interlocked signaling system of 1955. This system required manual operation of levers for receipt and dispatch of trains from 5 different cabins. Manual operation and coordination among cabins took about 5-7 minutes to handle each train at important Jn station, thus limiting its handling capacity to maximum of 190-200 train on a daily basis. Further Mechanical signaling also required upgrade to match with global safety standards in train operation, it said.