New Delhi (NVI): In a move that will reduce the train travel time between Delhi and Howrah to about 12 hours from the existing 17-19 hours, Indian Railways has installed the most advanced electronic interlocking system on its relevant Grand Chord route.
Grand Chord is part of the Howrah-Gaya-Delhi line and Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line. It acts as a link between Sitarampur, (West Bengal) and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction, Uttar Pradesh, and covers a stretch of 450 km falling in North Central Railway (NCR) Zone of Indian Railways, which maintains and operates 53% portion of this New Delhi-Howrah route.
This achievement became possible by replacement of the 65-year old outdated Mechanical Signaling System with the most advanced and safer Electronic Interlocking System at Tundla station in Uttar Pradesh, an official statement said here on October 22.
Around 500 persons worked day and night without break from September 2nd to October 20th, 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.
Tundla Junction is an important station on this super-saturated route operating 160% of its designed capacity. Tundla also connects mainline with Agra Cantt. Jn. This important Electronic Interlocking work at Tundla Jn. was having 613 route combinations which is only second to Kharagpur in South Eastern Railway with 800 routes.
Despite being extremely important from train operation point of view, Tundla Jn. was still continuing with mechanically interlocked signaling system of 1955 vintage. This system required manual operation of levers for receipt and dispatch of trains from 05 different cabins. Manual operation and coordination among cabins took approximately 05-07 minutes to handle each train at important Jn. station thus limiting its handling capacity to maximum 190-200 train on daily basis. Further Mechanical signaling also required upgrade to match with global safety standards in train operation. Layout of Tundla Jn. also needed important changes to accommodate longer trains and more route combinations for efficient train operations.
Need for this change was felt for long and work for remodeling and removal of Mechanical signaling was sanctioned way back in 1998-99. However actual execution got delayed due to extreme pressure of train operation at Tundla Jn. as the execution required cancellation of big number of trains which was not feasible unless an innovative and out of the box solution to this problem was found by NCR in 2019.
Realising the importance of this work, GM, NCR, Rajiv Chaudhry motivated and guided the team of multi-disciplinary team of planners who came out with innovative solution to utilize newly constructed eastern dedicated freight corridor section between Bhadhan- Khurja section for diversion of some goods trains bypassing Tundla Jn. thus minimizing cancellation of passenger trains during execution of this work.
This work will go a long way in improving punctuality of trains on New Delhi- Howrah main line and benefits shall be manifold during incoming foggy season through safe and detention free handling of trains at Tundla Jn.