Around 19,700 GPS-based navigation devices, known as Fog PASS, are helping loco pilots operate trains with minimal disruptions and delay while ensuring safety of passengers, railways sources said. Officials say that as fog has begun to affect the visibility in the morning hours, these devices are coming in handy in the smooth running of trains.
“Every year we increase our procurement so that we have enough stock of the device to use in times of need. In March 2021, we had around 12,742 Fog PASS devices,” a senior railway official said.
“As the number of trains are increasing with the introduction of new trains, we have increased our procurement of Fog PASS devices as well,” he added.
Introduced in 2018, Fog PASS is a hand-held portable device given to the loco-pilots for assistance in navigating dense fog conditions.
The device gives them on-board real-time information (display as well as voice-guidance) regarding location of fixed landmarks such as signal, level crossing gate (manned & unmanned), permanent speed restrictions, neutral sections etc.
“It displays approach indications of the next three approaching fixed landmarks in geographical order accompanied with a voice message at 500 mt on approach. Route survey for collecting the GPS/GNSS coordinates of landmarks is required to be carried out separately & programmed,” the official said.
The device also shows the speed of the locomotive, distance and time to reach landmarks and is carried by the Loco Pilots, he said.
“These are being used only in those zones of Indian Railways where the trains pass through fog affected regions,” added the person.