General Railway Security

Elephants get rail protection with fiber optics and AI

2024-06-12 · Daniel Pyke · 4min

Fiber optics to keep elephants and trains safe across Indian Railways East Coast

We've won a multi-million contract to implement a groundbreaking elephant detection system for Indian Railways' East Coast network. This critical project will utilise fiber optic sensing technology to help protect both endangered elephants and train operations across more than 30 elephant corridors spanning over 400km of railway.


Preventing Collisions, Protecting Lives

Collisions between trains and elephants are a major concern in India, tragically resulting in the loss of both endangered animal life and risking human safety too. Sensonic's innovative elephant detection system also known as the Gajraj system, addresses this challenge head-on.

The system uses Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technology to listen for the footsteps of approaching elephants. By detecting vibrations transmitted through fiber optic cables buried alongside the tracks, the AI-enabled system can detect the presence and movement of elephants near the railway line in real-time. Algorithms monitor for the presence of this endangered species and when they stray too close to danger warnings are sent to railway staff. This advanced warning system allows the railway to take necessary precautions, such as reducing speed or stopping and sending staff to allow elephants safe passage preventing deadly collisions with endangered animals which weigh as much as a large SUV or small truck.


Benefits for Elephants, Railways, and Communities

“We are incredibly proud to partner with Indian Railways' East Coast network on this vital project,” said Deep Desai, MD of Sensonic India.

“Our elephant detection system offers a comprehensive solution that safeguards both elephants and train operations. By preventing collisions, we can significantly reduce the loss of life and minimise disruptions to railway operations, ultimately benefiting wildlife, passengers, and local communities.”


Project Scope

The contract encompasses the deployment of Sensonic’s elephant detection system through ~1,200 kilometres of fiber surrounding ~400 km of railway tracks within the East Coast network spanning the states of Orissa and Jharkhand. This includes the installation of 20 strategically positioned sensing units along with supporting equipment that enable real-time monitoring, data analysis and alerts to be sent to railway staff including station masters and locomotive pilots. The contract award follows a competitive tender process referencing previous on-site technology demonstrations, evaluation, and acceptance tests by Indian Railways.

Elephant Detection


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