The Indian Railways is done it again. After leading the foray in the online-ticketing segment, it is now allowing passengers to track trains on real-time basis.
RailRadar is an interactive map which allows users to watch movements of trains, which are currently running in India. The application was today announced at the Digital Conference held by Medianama.
This is the first time any of the public transport system can be tracked in real-time basis on the internet, and mobile. RailRadar is a live tracker of Indian Railways passenger trains traffic in real time. This live tracker is shown on an interactive map and allows users to watch the movements of trains which are currently running in entire India. The application has been built by Indian Railways Center for Railway Information System (CRIS) and RailYatri.in. The map has arrows in various directions and colours. A single yellow or red icon represents train currently running in India. A yellow icon represents a train which is currently expected to reach its next stop on time (typically with delays of 15 mins or less). A red icon represents a running train which is delayed by more than 15 minutes.
The pointer of the icon represents the direction in which the train is traversing. To be able to give information on real-time basis, the application extracts and harnesses volumes of data from the official Indian Railway’s train running operational information data. According to the official website (http://railradar.trainenquiry.com/), in terms of accuracy, the information is fairly accurate in the normal running scenarios. Indian Railways has train passing monitoring points around the country at more than 6000 locations. These monitoring points in real-time mode communicate updates on train arrival, departure, or passing to a central headquarter server. In substantial cases these updates are automated however there are places/situations where this reporting is also done manually. “There are several factors that can affect a train while it is on its route. Weather, breakdowns, congestion, local control-office directives, and more. RailRadar tries to continuously update this information. However, since the data on the Radar is displayed few minutes later than the actual, we encourage our viewers to double check train running information using the traditional train status search mechanism – also offered by TrainEnquiry.com,” explain the website. At present, RailRadar is configured to update/refresh itself every 5 minutes. While the updates of the individual trains may vary based on the area where it is currently running. In any scenario, the location and status of the trains displayed on RailRadar will always be 5 or more minutes delayed. “As the volume and complexity of information increases – we believe that new methods of information dissemination (associated with Trains and its running information) will be required. RailRadar is one such attempt on that line. We believe that value of information/directions can greatly be enhanced when presented graphically rather than just plain text,” explains the website.