Guard-less movement of freight trains in the offing


New Delhi: Guard service in freight trains may be a thing of the past once the dedicated freight corridor becomes operational with end wagons to be fitted with sensors.

End to Train Telemetry (EOTT) is a device which makes it possible to monitor in the driver’s cab of the loco the brake pipe pressure in the last vehicle of the train.

Doing away with deployment of guards in each freight train, the corridor will equip the rear end of a wagon with this modern electronic system at an estimated cost of Rs 5 lakh.

The driver will monitor the train movement through EoTT device and there will be no need of guards, according to Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC) Managing Director Adesh Sharma.

DFCC aims to eliminate service of 1,000 guards using the device. The total staff of DFCC for the operation of the 3344- km-long track is estimated to be around 8,800 only.

While a guard cost about Rs 12 lakh a year to Railways, the EoTT is to cost around Rs 5 lakh.

Expected to be game changer in the freight transportation sector after it becomes fully operational by the next two years, the Rs 81,459-crore DFC project will also be free from all level crossings, a major safety hazard in rail network.

Contracts worth Rs 18,000 crore were awarded during 2016 for the DFC project, Sharma said here.

While 100 per cent contracts in the 1504-km-long Western DFC have been awarded, for the 1840-km-long Eastern DFC it is 87 per cent.

Ensuring unhindered movement of freight trains, Sharma said, “A total of 1,003 level crossings are planned to be eliminated which will help seamless movement of both rail and road traffic.”

There will be construction of 689 rail under bridges and 314 rail over bridges on cost sharing basis with states on the DFC track to make the entire track free from level crossings.

Focusing on reduction of the operational cost by 40 per cent, steps are being taken increase efficiency and doing away with guard service in freight trains with the help of latest technology, Sharma said.

DFCC is also using new track construction machine to lay 1.5-km-long track a day.

Once fully operational, DFC will be capable of carrying train load of 13000 tonnes with average speed of 75 km per hour against the current speed of 25 km per hour.

“It is taking about 72 hours to transport goods to Mumbai from here now and our aim is to deliver it within 24 hours on DFC track,” the DFCC MD said, adding “the entire track will be equipped with the most modern accident prevention system – TPWS.