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07 Dec 2009:
India’s youngest rail operator Konkan Railway, is leveraging IBM (NYSE: IBM) software to extract fresh insight to improve its trains management system, to ensure commuter safety and reduce costs by 20%.
To effectively manage business and its growth, while keeping costs low, Konkan Railway turned to IBM software as a key business enabler. For more than 10 years now, the software has supported Konkan Railway, streamlining business services and keeping trains running on-time. With more than 4,500 employees and 14,000 passengers daily, Konkan Railways manages a network of passenger and freight trains. The primary goal of this railway system was to improve service for its passengers, replace redundant manual procedures with efficient technology solutions to ultimately bring greater operating efficiency.
Konkan Railway selected IBM Informix Dynamic Server, when they developed their "Railway Application Package" (RAP) system to help manage, analyze and maintain train running information, schedules and reduce the passenger delays. Real-time data is fed into the management system that uses smart analytics to respond to information in real time -- whether it is scheduling delays, abnormalities or passenger queries. The RAP solution helps minimal staff manage all aspects of Konkan’s business, from real-time management of Train-running, collecting ticket revenue, managng finances and Human Resources, to automatically controlling Station platforms lighting with Train-movements. Informix software provides Konkan Railway with cost-effective performance, availability, requiring only 2 Database Administrators managing 66 database server instances. A reliable, easy-to-maintain data-server is a necessity as Konkan Railway operates in very remote areas.
IBM technology has helped us keep our IT management costs down, while supporting rapid growth of our Railway system" observes Vijay Devnath, Chief Manager (IT), Konkan Railway. “With the Railway Application Package system running on IBM technology, Konkan Railway has significantly improved its ability to analyze, maintain and present data, helping to reduce the likelihood of passenger delays and cultivating better decision-making. Additionally, by automating the light-switching at stations with train arrival-departures, the system has helped cut such energy costs by approx. 20 percent."
"National railways are the backbone of the economy in many developing countries which is why governments all over the world are investing in innovative technology solutions to make railways more efficient and secure, and to improve the overall commuter experience," said Keith Dierkx, director, IBM's Global Rail Innovation Center. "Our technology and rail expertise allow Konkan Railway to lay the foundation for smarter railway transportation and set an example for all other railways system within India and worldwide."
IBM software also helps in managing the platform lights for all passenger-carrying trains at each station and ventilation in few long tunnels. These long tunnels are each greater than 2 kilometers long. Konkan Railway developed information-flow systems & analytics to manage timely air-circulation and platform lights, in an effort to be energy-efficient. Not only does this help the Railway operate more efficiently, but has also resulted in significant energy savings. The same system also offers a web-based train location system, train-operations and ticketing management operations.
Konkan Railways was the winner of the 2009 The Great Mind Challenge for Business award for Information Management. This Award recognizes innovative solutions that deploy an information infrastructure (using IBM Information Management products) to enable organizations to deliver relevant and trusted information in real time to its employees, customers and partners and become an on demand business.
IBM is collaborating with many other leading rail operators in various projects around the world where it is helping to build smarter rail systems. Earlier this year IBM opened a Global Rail Innovation Center in Beijing, China to maximize expertise in rail. By using a combination of IBM hardware, software and services, leading rail networks are able to improve the speed, safety, reliability and efficiency of both passenger and freight trains while reducing operating costs.
About Konkan Railway
Konkan Railway is one of the youngest and most efficient Railway Transport systems in India. This railway serves India’s west-coast, transporting people and goods between Mumbai and Mangalore. It is the shortest Rail route from northern parts to southern Indian states of Goa, Karnataka & Kerala. It has to operate in very difficult geographies and terrain, with large numbers of tunnels (89 with total length 85 kms), 174 bridges, up to 28 meter high cuttings of mountains, with 5 months of heavy monsoon rains affecting the time-tables.
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