Published in


Drones are helping Indian Railways to wrap Fast-track projects ahead 2019 elections

With general elections on its way, Indian Railways is aiming the completion of the ambitious fast-track projects in time to go to polls in 2019.

Indian Railway is trying to deliver several projects worth at least Rs 50,000 crore before the general elections in 2019, according to the reports. The Fast-track project includes timely commissioning of new lines, gauge conversion, and doubling of railway tracks. It also includes making 3300 km of dedicated freight corridor projects operational, installing CCTVs in major stations and onboarding 168 premium trains.

Indshine, a Gurgaon based startup which provides Geospatial analytics platform and drone solutions has successfully conducted drone surveys for Indian Railways to fasten the rate of its infrastructure redevelopment. Drones have been helping Indian railways by conducting aerial surveys for site inspection, proposing alignment for new railway tracks, doubling of the already existing railway line, helping in cost analysis and monitoring the construction progress.

Drone Analytical platform Solution: From pre-construction to post-construction

Construction of a new railway line brings on many challenges, which includes deciding the best possible alignment and also providing the detailed design of the alignment.

As a pre-construction requirement drones help in estimating how much privately owned land is to be acquired for construction of a rail line.

  1. Land acquisition also is one of the most redundant reasons that delays any infrastructure project.

2. Rehabilitation, during the construction process of railway tracks many assets be it a residential building or commercial property are demolished and the human population of that particular area is rehabilitated. Drones have helped in conducting a successful survey and proposing such a rehabilitation area.

3. Drones play a crucial role in Cost Reduction; by cutting off the land acquisition, rehabilitation and the Earthwork cost.

4. Track Inspection and Track Renewal are post-construction applications where drones are being used to save time and manual labor.

Overview of the proposed bypass alignment for ‎West Central Railway zone on Indshine’s cloud platform.

Through aerial surveys, Indshine has helped Indian Railways with Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, Cost reduction, and Track inspection and Track Renewal, using its drone solutions and cloud-based platform. It has been able to resolve clashes between proposed railway lines with the existing railway lines in many of the projects with its platform where all their contractors, subcontractors are able to visualize and analyze data on the field.

In its latest project, Indshine proposed Zero level crossing design for bypass lines, to manage the ever-growing train congestion in the ‎West Central Railway zone, which includes six major railway junctions viz. Sawai Madhopur, Itarsi, Guna, Ruthiyai, Kachpura, and Ramganj Mandi Station, to reduce the number of accidents and shorten the traveling time.

Aligning with the adoption of the drone technology in infra-sector, Indian Railways, now, has the access of drone generated land records in digital format. Indshine’s software platform enables visualization of deliverables and has facilitated Indian railways with real-time collaboration on project data with its different stakeholders from consultant, contractor and many time a foreign investor.

Indian Railways has opted for the aerial survey using drones and using Indshine’s software platform for better collaboration among all its stakeholders.

Indian Railways’ massive infrastructure development plan

Indian Railways development corporation has undertaken taken Rs 1 trillion initiative along with Ministry of Urban Development, National Buildings Construction Corporation and Rail Land Development Authority, under which 600 railway stations will be redeveloped and about 2700 acres of spare land are to be monetized.

The initiative is converged with Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation and Smart Cities Mission for its effective implementation.

Railway Infrastructure projects are distributed under the following categories:

  1. Dedicated freight corridors: Indian Railway has proposed the construction of six dedicated freight corridors traversing India, in order to provide efficient freight transportation in the country.
  2. Track gauge conversion (March 2022 target):
  3. Track Renewal
  4. Track electrification (March 2021 target)
  5. Doubling of tracks
  6. Eliminating Level Crossing (March 2020 Target): Eliminating Level crossing is on top priority for Indian Railways; to reduce the number of accidents. (Of all the railway accidents reported almost 40 percent happen at the level crossings.) The Level crossings are being replaced by constructing Rail Over Bridge/Rail Under Bridge /Limited Height Subways (ROB/RUB/LHS.)

Earlier in the year, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani sent a letter to 16 zones, in which he defined the targets for zonal railways. It included gauge conversion, doubling projects and timely commissioning of new railway lines. He also set section-wise deadlines for the year 2018–2019 of the projects dedicated to linking the north-east to the main rail networks.

Collaborating on the railways’ infrastructure projects, Indshine, has successfully worked with 10 zones of Indian Railways; facilitating the progress of its ambitious redevelopment projects by providing time and cost-effective drone technology.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Maitri Dwivedi

Maitri Dwivedi

I put words to ideas, interested in functional products, consumer psychology, forms of human articulation, design, and art.