Railways introduced advanced interlocking system on the Grand Chord route

The Indian Railways installed the most most advanced Electronic Interlocking System on the Grand Chord route.

The measure will help Railways to achieve its future objective of reducing the travel time between Delhi and Howrah to about 12 hours from the existing 17-19 hours.

This new Electronic system replaces outdated 65-year old mechanical signaling system at Tundla Jn. in Uttar Pradesh on the route, an official release said.

This technological upgradation en-route will pave safer, faster, efficient and more punctual train operations on New Delhi-Howrah route. Around 500 persons worked day and night for around 50 days to execute the most challenging work in minimum possible time and with minimum inconvenience to the public. This interlocking system at Tundla is the second largest in the country after Kharagpur Station in South Eastern Railway.

As a result, train handling capacity at Tundla Jn. improved to 250 per day from existing 200 maximum.

Grand Chord is part of the Howrah-Gaya-Delhi line and Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line. It acts as a link between Sitarampur, (West Bengal) and Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction, Uttar Pradesh, and covers a stretch of 450 kms falling in North Central Railway (NCR) Zone of Indian Railways, which maintains and operates 53% portion of this New Delhi-Howrah route.

Tundla Jn. is an important station on this super-saturated route operating 160% of its designed capacity. Tundla also connects mainline with Agra Cantt. Jn. This important Electronic Interlocking work at Tundla Jn. was having 613 route combinations which is only second to Kharagpur in South Eastern Railway with 800 routes.

Despite being extremely important from train operation point of view, Tundla Jn. was still continuing with mechanically interlocked signaling system of 1955 vintage. This system required manual operation of levers for receipt and dispatch of trains from 05 different cabins.

Manual operation and coordination among cabins took approximately 05-07 minutes to handle each train at important Jn. station thus limiting its handling capacity to maximum 190-200 train on daily basis. Further Mechanical signaling also required upgrade to match with global safety standards in train operation. Layout of Tundla Jn. also needed important changes to accommodate longer trains and more route combinations for efficient train operations.

Need for this change was felt a long back ago and work for remodeling and removal of Mechanical signaling was sanctioned way back in 1998-99, however actual execution got delayed due to extreme pressure of train operation at Tundla Jn. station as execution required cancellation of sizable number of trains which was not feasible unless an innovative and out of the box solution to this problem was found by NCR in 2019.

With the new system in place, train handling time to be reduced from existing 05-07 minutes to 30-60 seconds. Train operation towards Agra will be immensely benefitted with two additional platforms and extension of three existing platforms no. 3,4&5 to cater full length trains on main line.

This work will go a long way in improving punctuality of trains on New Delhi- Howrah main lineand benefits shall be manifold during incoming foggy season through safe and detention free handling of trains at Tundla Jn, Railway sources said.

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