SHCHERBINKA, Russia, Aug. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Maxim Akimov and the Chairman of Russian Railways (RZD) Oleg Belozyorov took a test trip on Russia's first unmanned electric train Lastochka on the experimental railway ring in Shcherbinka during the International Railway Salon PRO//Motion.EXPO on August 28th.
"What we saw is a major technological breakthrough, because it was made by our engineers, in our technical centers together with different partners who worked on it with Russian Railways," Akimov said.
"It is a historic day for Russian Railways. We are very close to perfecting unmanned technology. I want to say thanks to all of our developers: we use only Russian systems. Moreover, I can say that we are one year ahead of our foreign colleagues. Russian Railways is committed to unmanned driving technology, primarily because it will increase safety and reliability in transportation, especially for passengers," said Belozyorov.
Belozyorov noted that train drivers should not worry about being made redundant:
"Their responsibilities will change, but people will still monitor the systems. We will all change together."
So that it could travel in the automatic mode, special equipment was added to the Lastochka that made it possible to position it on the infrastructure, communicate with the dispatch center, and detect obstacles. The train is able to follow its schedule in unmanned mode and, when it detects an obstacle, it automatically brakes.
The ES2G Lastochka is an unmanned electric train that can be controlled automatically, from the cockpit by a driver, or from the transportation control center by an operator. The control center is designed to operate unmanned trains and make decisions during emergencies. For example, if necessary, the operator can take the train out of automatic control and remotely control its movement.
Russian Railways is developing unmanned train systems at various infrastructure facilities. For this, the rolling stock, infrastructure of stations, and technological facilities are gradually being equipped with special equipment for remote monitoring and traffic control. In the coming year, a series of tests in automatic mode under the control of drivers will be carried out.
In the future, unmanned technologies, if the appropriate laws will be passed, may be introduced on railway lines with a large volume of traffic and a small transit interval between passenger trains (for example, the Moscow Central Circle), as well as at freight stations (shunting locomotives).
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