Oct 17, 2016

Cloud-controlled TV displays units at 2000 Railway Stations

Large screens to display info at Old Delhi, Varanasi, Vijayawada and Ernakulam stations – Railway stations at Old Delhi, Gwalior, Jaipur and two more from Uttar Pradesh will start disseminating information related to trains on giant screens shortly by the end of this month as part of the government’s Digital India campaign. 

If project timelines are met, the rail display network (RDN) – a networked system of approximately 200,000 screens across 2,175 A1, A,B,C and D stations – will become operational by next March.
These screens will be “cloud controlled” to allow the telecast of same content at the same time across the country. Options for display of different content on separate screens or telecast of content in different languages will also exist. Advertisements will take up 50% of the display, while the rest will be devoted to rail-related information such as arrival and departure of trains. The RDN screens will have audio and video capabilities to enable telecast of policy pronouncement of of the Prime Minister or the railway minister, train movements, zonal and divisional updates etc.

Rail-related documentaries will also be telecast, along with content on lifestyle, health and entertainment. “Static hoardings and posters will be removed from stations to improve aesthetics after the RDN is put in place,” an official said.

The concept – envisaging a project cost of Rs 2,000 crore – makes sound business sense.

Four firms, including a joint venture of Zee Media Corporation and Media on Track, have made offers to partner with the railways on this plan. “These firms have been asked to submit the proof of concept by November-end. Financial bids to set up the RDN will be floated by December,” the source said.
Real-time train indicator facility soon at Ernakulam South station

Commuters arriving at the South Railway station will soon be able to know the real time position of trains scheduled to arrive at the station for the next four hours.

After Thiruvananthapuram Central, the real-time train indicator facility is being set up at the Ernakulam Junction railway station in the division and the work is expected to be over within a week.

“The information on current status of the trains scheduled to arrive in the next four hours will be shown on the LED Display boards. So far information regarding train arrival or departure was fed manually, but under this system, real-time data is given automatically from a central location,” said a senior official.

The railways plans to install the facility at two more stations – Ernakulam Town and Thrissur. “Real time data will be fed from the central server. Currently the facility is provided at these stations on an experimental basis. The drawback is that once some malfunction occurs, the data cannot be fed manually,” the official said.

Meanwhile, more passenger amenities like touch screens and passenger information have been set up at the Main entrance and the Eastern Gate. “Since the station experiences a heavy rush, the current facilities were inadequate. Hence, the addition. The security of the station too has been made foolproof with bomb detection scanners installed at the station entry point on both sides,” the official said.

Railway stations at Old Delhi, Gwalior, Jaipur and two more from Uttar Pradesh will start disseminating information related to trains on giant screens by the end of this month as part of the government’s Digital India camapign.

Six stations, including Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, and Gorakhpur are part of the 2175 stations which have been selected for installing two lakh screens that would update passengers about arrivals, departures, seat availability, platform berthing and other related information round-the-clock.

Besides relaying information, these Rail Display Network (RDN) screens will also display advertisements to enable the public sector behemoth add to its revenue.

We expect to earn about Rs 1000 crore from these two lakh RDN screens, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in the project.

The railway is operationalising the RDN screens at six stations as a pilot project.

He said these RDN screens will replace all other medium of advertising and relaying train-related information from stations. Screens will be put up at the most visible locations.

These screens will be ‘cloud-controlled’ which will allow effective monitoring of the content.

As per the arrangement, 50 per cent of the screen will display railway-related information and the rest advertisement. The screens will have both audio and video facilities.

Railtel, Indian Railway’s telecom PSU, will provide the optical fibre cable network and fulfil other technical requirements to make screens functional.

The official said the move, apart from promoting the Digital India campaign, will vastly improve aesthetics of the station premises as all static hoardings and posters will be removed.