In a first of its kind project in India the Vadodara Division of Western Railways launched e-Op or electronic operations to eliminate the line boxes used by Loco Pilot and Guard. The pilot project was launched by the DRM at Vadodara railway station hand over the digitise journal entry and manuals to the Loco Pilots and guards.
Indian railways is working on significant transformation of streamline operations and remove the outdated methods and practices still in use. Taking a step towards the direction the Vadodara Division starts the pilot project to remove the Line boxes used for years by the Loco Pilots and guards.
Line Box made of steel or Aluminum is used to keep the equipments include Rule Books, Manuals, Time tables. Hand Signals & lamps , First Aid Kit and tools required by Loco Pilot and Guard to perform their duties. In the present system each LP and Guard have their own dedicated Line box and each time the train duty starts the line box is loaded in the train and when he completes his duty, the line box is unloaded.
Special crew is nominated at changing stations are provided with facilities for loading, unloading and stacking of these line boxes. In most locations, the work is outsourced to private contractors and in some locations the railway staff is deputed for this purpose. A line box weighs between 30-50 kgs.
The problems with the Line Box is heavy detention of trains till the Line Boxes are loaded and Unloaded at stations. Moreover the work come at a considerable cost to railways where in Vadodara each loading or unloading costs Rs 23.
Secondly Line Boxes have to be loaded in Loco/ Brakevan by Pointsman or contract Box Boys and at times one has to travel 700-800m along railway track (even during night) to load boxes. Line boxes are handled in a very rough manner resulting in damage to the platforms. They can also result in stampede like situation since they are scattered all over the platform.
To eliminate such tedious task the division introduced the project e-Op to remove the line box. The idea is to reduce the weight of Items required to be carried by LP and Guard.
Replacing the manuals, hard copy with Tablet with digitized versions of these documents, Replacing the bulky HS Lamp, Tail Lamp, First aid kit by light weight version, A toolbox in all Locomotives/DEMU/MEMU driving cabs will do away with the need to carry tools by LP and providing trolley bags in place of line boxes are some of the steps reduce the weight by 4-5kgs.
With this project he Rough Journals used for determining the exact cause and nature of detentions has now been digitized through e-Op and can be accessed through cloud servers.
The lmplementaion of e-Op will reduce vain detentions of trains at major railway stations and also remove some of the hardships faced by railway staff in handhng line box.
Financially, e-Op project will eliminate the expenditure on handling line boxes and eRough Journals accessed centrally by mangers can aid them in analysing exact information on nature of detection and helps improving punctua|ity and mobility of trains.
The project is estimated to a saving of around Rs 25, 000 per LP/ Guard per year. The Features of e-Op are All documents (Manuals, WTT etc) will be stored on Cloud.These can be updated only by users with admin rights.
As and when a correction slip to any of the manuals is issued, the corresponding manual will be replaced on Cloud and a mail will be send to all the users.
Each user will have a e-Rough Journal with features like lt will allow the user to get the scheduled timings of his train from the e-op system and he can update the e-RJ when he is working the train. This e-RJ can be viewed to analyze train running. Backup of e-RJ is created and stored in cloud for period of 1 year.