India’s Railways are likely to propose the use of RFID technology such as RFID tags in the near future for tracking and tracing of wagons, coaches and locomotives even as the public transporter looks to leverage information technology in a big way to improve services.
Rail Budget 2015-16 is expected to propose extensive use of IT systems in everything from the management of rolling stock to the development of Apps for passengers and provision for Wi-Fi on rail premises.
India’s Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu from the BJP has given directions for leveraging the use of IT in railway functioning and the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices in wagons, coaches and locomotives is a step in that direction, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Prabhu will propose that RFID devices be used for freight maintenance management, locomotive management, coach maintenance management and fuel management systems so as to ensure more effective and transparent functioning.
Effective use of RFID devices will enable Railways to track the exact position of wagons, locomotives and coaches and also the fuel position. At present this data is maintained manually which at times can be inaccurate.
There will be a progressive shift from periodic maintenance to predictive maintenance of rolling stock by leveraging new technology, the official added.
RFID and other technology will also be used for enhancing the security of railway passengers, particularly women. Provision of CCTV cameras in ladies’ coaches and development of an app for improving the security of women passengers are also likely to be announced.