With different trains running along the same tracks at any given time, signaling has become critical to control changing tracks and oncoming trains to prevent crashes. Signal failure is a common phenomenon that often causes train delays. Today, there are many systems used for railway signaling, ranging from old semaphore signals to advanced electronic high-capacity systems.
Governments have made their own systems to give heads-up on holding the rail traffic across specific regions. The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is a unique single European signaling system that maintains interoperability of the national railway systems, all while aiding in increasing the level of safety in rail transport.
AI is the new addition to railway signaling systems that will revolutionize the way railroads operate. By using cameras and sensors, AI can detect obstacles on the track, such as fallen trees, animals, or even people, and alert the driver or activate the emergency brakes. Autonomous trains are a significant application of AI in railway signaling.
The Indian Railways is also preparing to deploy the “Gajraj system,” an Artificial Intelligence-based solution, along a 700 km stretch of railway tracks in forest areas to prevent elephant deaths, signaling loco pilots about the presence of elephants on the tracks. The future of AI in railway signaling is promising and bright, with advancements in machine learning, deep learning, and other AI technologies.