Indian Railways is working with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to develop safety mechanisms to make travel by trains’ safer, union minister, Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. The minister said that he met ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar a few days back. Indian Railways along with RailTel are functioning together to discover the use of space technology for safety in railways.
“Safety is very pressing and urgent need. The discussion which we had was very eye-opening in some sense for me but also very exciting in terms of possibilities that open for engaging with space technologies that Isro has developed, helping in bringing safer travel to Indian railways,” Goyal said.
There have been several train derailment incidents last month and it even saw the departure of Suresh Prabhu as the railway minister in the Cabinet reshuffle. Goyal said railways has been an early adopter of computers that could have been also extended for various operational processes like safety.
“Way back in the 1960s, railways started using computers in a small way and by 1985 you had passenger reservations system all computerised. I remember banking started using computers in 1990s. It was quite an interesting fact for me that in late 1960s railways started using computers. I am delighted about that but I do wish we had expanded those frontiers much to bring technology for safety for example,” Goyal said.
Modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning will change how the world works. “I have asked RailTel to look at a programme to connect thousands of railway stations with Wi-Fi.