Control office: The nerve center of Railway operations

The working of the control office during emergencies came into play as late as this week when recent student agitations disrupted railway service all over the country. A dedicated task force was set up to monitor and track all operations.
Control office: The nerve center of Railway operations
Representative Image Reuters

CHENNAI: Did you know that behind every local and express train running without delay and incidents in the city or the state, a bunch of unsung heroes are breaking their sweat 24x7 throughout the year.

Apart from the scores of railway workers/employees, you see at the stations and on board trains, there is a dedicated team of staff at the control office ensuring that the trains run on time and that too safely. Yes. They are the technically skilled staff at the control office, also called the nerve center of the railway operation and commands. Set up under one roof for each of the Operating, Commercial, Signal and Telecommunication, Engineering, Mechanical, Traction, and Security Sections, the control over keeps a tab on all 6 divisions of the zone covering Tamil Nadu and Kerala. From the control office, the operating control monitors and regulates the movement of express/mail trains and also freight trains by directing getting in touch with station masters in all railway stations.

Each division is further divided into sections for controlling train operations with a section controller at the central control, which coordinates with all section officers from the headquarters is not just operating trains, but also implementing major engineering, construction, and maintenance works that involve planning and execution of line blocks and traffic blocks, a railway officer associated with the control office functioning explained.

The working of the control office during emergencies came into play as late as this week when recent student agitations disrupted railway service all over the country. A dedicated task force was set up to monitor and track all operations.

With zero room for error, the control office also does a daily review of the previous day’s performance and prevents the recurrence of shortfalls besides preparing the current forecast to avoid train detention. “Punctuality and safety are the moto of the control office. We never shut down the operations of the control office and work round the clock to monitor and maintain the operations of all the trains over our jurisdiction, ” the officer added. Introduction of COA (Control office application) helped supervise and capture train movements in real-time for effective monitoring of both scheduled and unscheduled trains.

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