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Research and Development of Indian Railways - An Overview

2015-08-07 Posted By:Infrabazaar

Indian Railways is the nation's premier organization for providing transport service. Ministry of Railways is operating one of the largest railway systems in the world. Its countrywide network of approximately 64460 kms carries over 7651 million passengers per annum and moves 922 million tonnes of freight traffic.

The Indian Railways established Railway Research and Development Institute (RRDI) primarily involving several academicians and research analysts. The disciplines cover applied research on present concerns and future technology development for Railways. This organization was formed with the recommendation of Dr. Kakodkar. Roughly every five years this organization proposes and formulates a Master Plan articulating lying down of major research areas and activities. The RRDI looks at establishing independent Research wings in every major areas, e.g., Energy Efficiency; Rail Environmental Research; Safety; Railway Transport and Logistics; Railway Track & Structure; Locomotives; Rolling Stock; Train Controls, Signaling and Communications; Information Technology; Railway Economics, Statistics and Data.

There is another research centre which was set up at IIT Kharagpur based on the MoU signed between the Ministry of Railways, Government of India and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur on February 13, 2010, to develop a long-term framework for research collaboration is Centre for Railway Research (CRR). This is the first such research centre set up in an academic institute with direct and full funding by the Indian Railways.

The Railway Research and Development Institute is supported by six or seven Regional Railways institutes, which focuses on research and development of specific requirements to their regions. In RRDI the service conditions is similar to those at CISR and the Director General of the institute should get facilities and rank similar to those at CSIR laboratories/Secretary to the Government of India. The Institute of Director General reports directly to Minister of Railways or to CRB.

Each regional institute recruits about 100 researchers within five years of their establishment. Apart from specific research requirements to their regions, the Regional institutes would mark themselves for any Request for Proposal to move on research area/project.

Major Research Projects

1. Developments of new crashworthy design of 4500 HP WDG4 train, incorporating new technology to improve dynamic braking and achieve significant fuel savings.

2. Development of Drivers observation Telemetric Control System, which directly analysis and measures variation in biometric parameters to verify state of alertness of the driver,

3. Development of Train accident Avoidance System (TCAS)

4. Development of Computer Aided Drivers aptitude tests, equipment for screening high speed train drivers like Shatadhi / Rajdhani Express trains, to estimate their reaction time, vigilance, perception and speed anticipation.

5. Measurement of outstanding low energy life railway components like rail, wheels, rail weld, cylinder head, catenary wire, wagon components, contact wire, low components, etc is to formulate curative actions.

6. Development and Design of modern fault tolerant, maintainer, fail safe, friendly Electronic Interlocking system.

Re-designing or modifying specific Electric Lifting Barrier to improve its strength and reliability.


The main aim of the RRDI is to focus on ongoing projects towards better efficiency of the existing route network, modernization and timely completion of ongoing projects. Instead of new trains has been added.