Indian Railways big plan: Free WiFi at railway station near you soon
As of now, railways is providing free WiFi at over 700 stations with the help of Google.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today said that round 6,000 stations will be made WiFi-enabled in the next six to eight months. As of now, railways is providing free WiFi at over 700 stations with the help of Google.
Goyal also said that the railways is focusing on smarter project implementation. He he reiterated government’s commitment to ensure a smart Railway and a smart nation so that every citizen of India gets a better future. He also emphasised on smart planning, smart project implementation being put into effect holistically in Railways.
Goyal was speaking at the 'Smart Railways Conclave' organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
"The railways is working on a programme to ensure the last mile connectivity wherever we do not have fibre optics in our network. We are hopeful that in the next six-to-eight months, all railway stations, other than the halt stations, about 6,000 stations will be WiFi-enabled," said Goyal.
Talking about several initiatives undertaken to transform Railways as a smart transporter, Piyush Goyal said that while deliberating on possibilities and solutions, it is important to keep the practicality in mind.
"For Railways, it is a network working 22000 trains a day, chugging from remotest corners and smart solutions have to found within this frame. For punctuality, instead of the station master recording the time, data loggers have been put at interchange points which would be computer generated. A small step, but it brought accuracy and reflected the truth. Between 1st April, 2018 and today, it has improved it to 73-74%," he said.
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Goyal also said that the public transporter will be putting GPS devices on every locomotive.
"Indian Railway is working on putting a GPS device on every locomotive so that every train can be tracked on mobile phones knowing exactly where they are," he said.
Goyal said that Railways will save around $2 billion every year by its new initiatives.
"Electrification of Railways has been taken vigorously which will save $2 billion every year. Railways’ engineers have figured out a solution for diesel engines: the cost for overhauling the diesel engine, same or less will be spent on converting it to electric. So without spending a dollar, Railways can have a new engine. Efficient engines with cost efficiency as well, electric engines will have a huge impact on India's carbon footprint," said the minister.
Goyal also takled in brief about use of artificial intelligence for the railways.
"Railways is focusing on smarter project implementation. Railways is reviewing to engage itself with artificial intelligence. There's a lot which can be done with data being put to use with predictive maintenance, better monitoring and utilization of assets and better passenger service," he said.
He said that railways' focus will shift on removing permanent speed restrictions, getting 1,50,000 bridges audited and improved, once the work of switching to smarter signalling gets complete.