There are around 500 points and crossings on the rail tracks spread all over our plant. The points and crossing are used for switching movement of rolling stock from one track line to another. Out of these 500, manual operation takes place in 400 and the main challenge lies on these manually operated points.
Sometimes due to improper operation of lever box handle or wrong switching from local semi-automated points by ground crew members, a gap is created between the main rail and switch rail. By overlooking this gap, if ground crew gives clearance to the loco operator to move forward on the points and crossing area, the wheel flange will enter through this gap and derailment of rolling stock will take place at a point where gauge distance is more than 1676 mm. Due to a derailment, rolling stock movement in inbound, outbound and intra-plant logistics gets affected. Supply chain gets disrupted in raw material and finished shipment areas which affect the overall production.
Thus, in order to prevent derailment and consequent disruption, if any gap is formed between the main rail and switch rail due to human error in points setting, it should be instantly alerted to the control room and key persons by audio-visual alarm and SMS facility along with the location of such gap, for taking corrective action on real-time basis. Such errors should also be monitored centrally through software.
Efficient & accurate detection of the gap between the main rail and the switch rail.
Provision of an audio-visual alarm system at the occurrence of a gap.
Communication of alarm to control room and concerned officers on a real-time basis.