In a move to address country’s transportation needs, both in the passenger and freight segment, Indian Railways plans to improve its service levels and operating efficiency. As a part of this endeavour, railways would soon implement the RFID project which aims to automatically and accurately track & trace rolling stock across the country with a special focus on improving their safety and reliability. Two works for RFID project have been sanctioned by Railway Board for a total of Rs 112.96Cr.
For implementing this project, the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS, the IT arm of the Indian Railways), GS1 India and the Indian Industry have come together under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Thereby creating a new segment in the AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Collection) suited for the Indian Railways requirements.
The project enables real-time visibility of railway wagons through the National Rail Network using cutting edge technologies like RFID with GS1 global standards for unique & universal identification, in line with global best practices. It enables enhanced operational efficiency of the Indian Railways.
The Indian Railways has aggressive implementation plans for RFID. All Rolling Stock, roughly 3,50,000 vehicles, are expected to be tagged by 2021. Till now approximately 22,000 wagons and 1200 coaches have been fitted with RFID tags. Additionally, roughly 3500 fixed RFID readers are expected to come up which shall communicate to a central control center using GS1’s LLRP (low level reader protocol) standard.
The complete solution also includes the integration of RFID readers with various equipment such as Train Presence Detectors (TPDs), trackside condition monitoring equipment etc. The combination of all of these allows for an early identification of rolling stock that may need maintenance.