New Delhi: Indian Railways is installing End of Train Telemetry (EoTT) equipment on freight trains, a new system to keep guard vans away and the practice of deploying guards at the end of such trains. This will ensure that all wagons remain intact as the train moves.
The US technology giant’s first EOTT has been embedded in a freight train on the East Coast Railway and a detailed test and trial has been launched. Sources said another tool on the southeastern railway will soon be installed. This device is used to establish communication between the locomotive driver and the last wagon of the train, to ensure that the train runs as a complete unit with all bogies and wagons.
The purchase of such equipment is worth about Rs 100 crore. Sources said the railway is buying 10 such devices from the USA and South Africa for trial purposes. Technology has been successful in other countries.
The railways had started planning this renovation three years ago. Railways will buy 1,000 such equipment from abroad. Banaras Locomotive Works in Varanasi has ordered 250 EOTTs from South Africa and all these will be installed in freight trains in the next one year. In the next step, such 740 EOTT devices will be purchased.
Currently, the Railway operates about 7,000 freight trains in its network and about 16,000 guards are involved in this purpose.
Sources said the technology is costly because it replaces the need for a guard van. EOTT equipment is designed to perform the job of a watchman by instructing the loco driver to separate the wagon or coach from the back of the train. The EoTT system consists of two components; One unit, called the Cab Display Unit, is mounted on the locomotive and another Sense and Brake unit is mounted on the last coach or wagon of the train.
The transmitter is fitted in the locomotive and the receiver is mounted at the end of the last wagon. Transmitter and last wagon receiver exchange codes periodically to ensure that the train is moving intact. If there is a break in communication between the two components, the driver receives a signal that the train is broken and the train has to be stopped to rearrange the wagons accordingly.

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