In another safety related initiative, N.F. Railway has installed Block Proving Axle Counter (BPAC) in 260 block sections out of 368 in its jurisdiction.
Axle Counters are a reliable and cost-effective train detection system. It detects presence of a train on the specified portion of the track. Which can be platform lines, main lines of station yard or block section between two stations i.e. it is a device on a Rail that detects the passing of a train between two points on a track. Axle Counter was thought of for use in block working to overcome the twin problems of (1) dependence of human agency to verify the complete arrival of the train and (2) cut down delays associated with the granting of line clear in conventional block working. It automatically verifies the complete arrival of the train and enhances safety of train working. Without this device, the Station Master has to visually observe every passing train and exchange signal with the guard positioned at the rear of the train to ensure the arrival of full train. Although this practice is still followed, the Axle Counter technically proves the arrival of the full train making it error proof.
This arrangement does not permit two trains to be allowed within the same block section at the same time which decreases the chance of collision.The purpose is to prove the complete arrival of the train by system and remove dependency of human element in verifying complete arrival of a train. In case of manual checking of complete arrival of a train by physically verifying LV (Last vehicle) board/Tail lamp by the receiving Station Master if any error is committed then there is a possibility of Block Section being closed even if parting had occurred in the mid-section and the train had arrived incomplete.
Up-gradation of signalling system is the basic requirement for increasing speed thereby increasing the carrying capacity of the railway track. The installation of Axle Counters is one such initiative of up-gradation where technology is being leveraged to ensure safer and error free movement and monitoring of train movement.