Rlys introduce crew management device
PATNA: The railways have successfully introduced the crew management system (CMS) device for benefit of loco pilots as well as for reasons
Our comments: Hope that the Railway provide for crews too very soon since the crew (Motorman) are being forced to work with rest of about 30 minutes between duties in Mumbai Local train as per letter received under Right to information.
With the new device in place, the railways will now be able to identify and communicate directly with crew members of any passenger and goods train. Their availability and physical fitness will be known in advance with the help of the newly-introduced device. The new technology developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) at a cost of Rs 12 crore is a software that uses biometric identification to allocate duty to the crew members.
According to a Railway Board official, the new system maintains a database of each and every railway engine crew member and identifies his skills and specialization. The system facilitates the railways to maintain booking of loco pilots in advance. The Indian Railways run about 18,000 trains daily carrying 18 million passengers. Sometimes it becomes difficult to keep a tab on these crew members, he said adding the CMS device will now help railways to maintain communication between the control room and crew members.
According to sources, the railways have been spending about $1.5 billion on upgrading its information technology (IT) system across the country. The CMS is a safety-oriented technology to track the crew. It would also help the railways in knowing whether any crew member was overstressed. In case of over stress and fatigue, the crew would be immediately taken off duty, sources said adding about 88,000 crew members of the Indian Railways have been brought under the CMS programme.
The railways had introduced crew management in 2006 with the help of CRIS as a pilot project. Gradually it gained importance in crew management and proved successful. Since the railways have been introducing more and more fast trains, it is a must to know the skills of loco pilots, sources said.
Besides, the railways wanted to develop a grading mechanism among loco pilots to identify their skills so that their services could be utilised for manning faster trains like Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express, the sources added.
The CMS, which has been introduced in the ECR, is likely to improve the operating ratio of running passenger and goods trains from 75 per cent to 65 per cent by 2010. The new railway software has attracted attention of Transnet Freight Rail of South Africa. The CRIS plans to introduce more sophisticated features to the system including a biometric sign on kiosks for loco pilots, the sources said.