In a new measure to enhance safety further, besides reducing costs, Indian Railways has installed a Trackside Bogie Monitoring System (TBMS) at Bakkas (BKKS) station on the outskirts of Lucknow.
This contactless system uses a laser rangefinder and an array of strain gauges fixed on the track to assimilate the movement of wagons, coaches and locomotives. The sensors are then used to check the condition of axles and bogies of locomotives, coaches and wagons.
If the system detects excessive force delivered by an axle or a wheel, or if there is a substantial difference between the force of one wheel and its adjacent wheel, it generates automatic alerts. These are then relayed to the Carriage and Wagon Control / Locomotive Control for further action.
In addition, the system is also able to detect less critical faults in the bogies. While such faults/defects do not require immediate attention, alerts are sent to the respective control offices so that the rolling stock may be detached for further examination at the workshop.
A major feature of this project is its ability to detect minor and major defects in the bearings of the rolling stock. Thus, any failure of the bearings can be caught while it is still in initial stage. The bearing can be replaced before an accident happens.
If this pilot project is successful, it is likely to be rolled out over the trunk and high speed routes of the Indian Railways.