Tundla Junction on the North Central Railway just got a brand new modern Electronic Interlocking (EI) system on October 20, 2019.
With the implementation of EI, the whole yard will be controlled from a single location. One person will be able to set the whole route in a matter of seconds, ensuring a manifold increase in yard capacity safety and reliability.
The complexity of the system can be judged from the fact that the EI has been designed to handle more than 600 routes, second only to 800 routes handled by the EI at Kharagpur Jn. Each feasible route from every signal is considered to be an individual route.
Hence, signals will often have several routes fanning out from them, depending on their location in the yard.
Tundla was long overdue for a replacement of the signalling system. Also pending was a re-modelling of the yard to enable handling of more trains and increase the speeds of trains passing through the station. However, due to the very heavy traffic in the section, it was not possible to install and commission such a system without delay or cancellation of train services.
Old System cumbersome
The new EI replaces five old mechanical cabins which were installed way back in 1955. Mechanical signalling systems are time-consuming, need a lot of manpower, require a lot of strength to operate and are prone to failures as they age.
Moreover, mechanical signalling systems cannot be used over long distances. As a result, a large station like Tundla requires several cabins spread out over the area to operate the apparatus.
To ensure no wrong operation takes place, the cabins themselves need to have a system in place to ensure safe working.
The net result: for passing even a single train through the station, a lot of coordination is required between the various signal cabins. This takes a lot of time until the whole process is completed.
How it was done
To implement EI, a period of intensive works was started from September 2, till October 20, 2019.
To reduce the traffic load on Tundla Jn, a few goods trains were diverted via the Eastern Dedicated Freight corridor.
This reduction of traffic, as well as extremely detailed and innovative planning, ensured that the complex work of overhauling the whole signalling system was completed while still allowing traffic movement through the station.
Other works executed at Tundla
In addition, IR also commissioned two new platforms besides increasing the length of 3 others.
Other improvements include a special double-exit dedicated line for stabling of the ARME (Accident Relief Medical Equipment) train. A double exit ensures that the train can be turned out in minimum time towards any direction.
The re-modelling of the yard, as well as the new signalling system, is expected to significantly improve the working of trains especially to and from Agra.