Date Of Post: 21 Nov, 2017
India’s largest state of the art, Electronic Interlocking (EI) system of 800 routes has been commissioned at Kharagpur station in West Bengal on 19th Nov 2017 at 18:12 hrs. This EI system, also one of the largest in the World, replaces the old Route Relay Interlocking system with 423 routes.
Kharagpur Junction in West Bengal, a gateway to the Eastern Metropolis of Kolkata from the South and the West, is one of the most important Railway stations of Eastern India. Everyday this station deals around 116 pairs of Mail/Express, goods and suburban trains with thousands of passengers.
Final work of commissioning was taken up during a block of 12 hours. Preparations for commissioning of this Electronic Interlocking commenced about 18 months back and involved hundreds of thousands of man-hours of installation and testing. Generally, work of this nature and magnitude, involving major yard remodeling, is commissioned by resorting to non-interlocked working for several days, resulting in severe disruption of railway traffic and public inconvenience from cancellation and late running of trains. To avoid such a situation, innovative planning was done for commissioning the work in a traffic block of 12 hours, thereby ensuring bare minimum traffic disruptions and passenger inconvenience. It speaks volumes of the planning and preparation by South Eastern Railway that commissioning was finally achieved in 10 hours i.e. two hours ahead of stiff target of 12 hours.
The commissioning of the new Electronic Interlocking has integrated (i) two additional platforms at Kharagpur Junction (ii) 3rd line from Howrah side and 2nd line from Adra side at Kharagpur Junction. Besides, it has ensured operation of down goods departure yard from the main Electronic Interlocking system at Kharagpur Junction.
To ensure highest level of availability and flexibility, this EI has been provided in a distributed manner with the interlocking distributed over 9 zones interconnected with highly reliable Optical Fibre Cables (OFC) in a ring configuration. This has also resulted in major reduction in use of copper cables which is not only unreliable, difficult to maintain, prone to theft but also costly. Facility has been provided for the setting of routes and clearing of signals from electronic Video Display Unit (VDU) using “Mouse & Key Board”.
With the commissioning of EI system at Kharagpur Junction the movement of trains over South Eastern Railway will get eased up considerably and result in improved punctuality of Mail/Express trains and increase in average speed of goods trains.