IIT-Kharagpur develops tool to prevent train collision

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Train journeys could soon be safer as scientists of IIT Kharagpur have successfully tested a new tool for electronic railway interlocking system which prevents trains from colliding into each other.

The tool suite is developed by the Computer Science and Engineering Department of the institute in collaboration with Research, Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) and Service Improvement Group (SIG) of the Indian Railways.

Prof Pallab Dasgupta, lead researcher of the project, said since errors in the application logic of interlocking systems may have catastrophic consequences, this development has potential to minimise the chance of such errors.

“In the proposed approach, the yard layout is used as a reference for automatically generating a list of safety properties, which are then proven on the application logic using back-end model checking tools. The generation of the formal properties is specifically tailored to the combination of relays used in that yard,” he said.
The tool has already been successfully tested in several railway yards, Dasgupta claimed.

The Indian Institute of Technology researchers said this project has the potential to be further extended to study and develop optimum traffic operation plans, alternative plans for emergencies.

The Indian Railways, through RDSO, has awarded 12 research projects to IIT Kharagpur’s Centre for Railway Research in the area of analysis and design of rolling stock, infrastructure, operations and maintenance.

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