Russian Railways (RZD) is planning to launch the remote control operation of multiple trains by a single office operator. The initiative is part of RZD’s Digital Railways program. “It will include a complex of advanced IT technologies, traffic management, and automated locomotive control. This is a very interesting project and we will achieve it by 2020,” said Valentin Gapanovich, RZD’s Senior Vice President, for Interfax.
The technology is in place for over a year now for freight shunting locomotives in Luga-Sortirovochnaya station (Leningrad region, Ust-Lugaport port railway station). The station was the first in Russia to introduce an automated control system for a driverless shunting locomotives. The marshaling yard can handle up to 5,000 wagons per day and is equipped with the Siemens MSR 32 microprocessor centralisation system, which enables the automation of all processes, including dividing the trains and managing the points etc.
Last week, an interdepartmental committee was held by the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. “We have defended our program for the innovative development of railway in the planning horizon of 2020 – 2025. Within the scope of the Digital Railways, we are aiming to move on to paperless technology and workflow within the next 3 – 5 years”, stated Gapanovich.
“We are planning to fulfill the objective of driverless multiple unit trains operation by 2019. A single operator will control at least 10 electric trains on the Moscow Ring Railway. This project will be launched on September 15th. And these projects will be replicated to increase efficiency. Even if there will be a train driver, certain areas of the railway will be controlled by artificial intelligence”, he added.