Indian railways to install ‘Trinetra’ to enable trains to run on full speed in dense fog

New Delhi: Beginning January, the Indian Railways is installing a new device, ‘Trinetra,’ meaning the ‘Third Eye’ on passenger trains to allow full speed in dense fog without compromising on safety.  Trial runs will be conducted on 100 trains. All trains on the Northern Railway, which are most afflicted by the fog, will be equipped with this device before next winter.

The device, developed in-house by the mechanical wing of the Railways, uses infra-red and laser rays to detect any object on the tracks up to a distance of two km and display the information on a screen fitted inside the locomotive. It also detects any minor damage or crack in the tracks, thereby averting rail accidents.

Officials said during the trial the device successfully detected the presence of small objects on the track at least 500 metres in advance, as also minor defects in the track, to enable the loco pilot to stop the train at a safe distance. The trial has been on since last year and its working has been also demonstrated to the Prime Minister’s office, they said.

They said the device will be very useful in averting derailments, train collisions and accidents on unmanned railway crossings. They said the radar-based system has been found to be accurate in sensing any physical obstruction on the tracks. The device was successfully tested on nearly 100 mail and express trains, including the New Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi Express.

The officials said the Trinetra will prove more useful during nights and in foggy conditions when drivers have to constantly look outside to assess the condition. They said installation of the device will begin in January, with a plan to put it on in nearly 4,000 trains in the first phase in the Northern zone, which witnesses maximum disruptions due to fog. They said the device will be efficient in heavy rain as well.