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If you look inside the driver’s cabin of a train, you will see the driver run around it to pull different brakes and reach out to the horn as the train pulls inside a station. But, in the new layout of the train drivers cabin designed by the students of National Institute of Design (NID), this cumbersome process will soon see its end.
Lending their design skills to the service of Indian Railways, a team of three students of NID, Prateek Upreti, Emil Alex and Mihir Laghate have redesigned the driver's cabin of train engines. The design, which was an academic project attempts to give the driver more breathing space and rearrange the control units to make them easily accessible. Alex explained that the current electric locomotive engines, WAT-4 of passenger trains in the country were designed in France more than fifty years back and have been around since 30 years Apart from the lack of comfort and crammed space, the controls have been badly laid out. The driver has to get up from his seat to reach out to the train brake meant for one particular direction and then move towards that direction to pull the parking brake, said Alex. With help from railway officials, the students travelled along with drivers in their cabin between Ahmedabad and Vadodara to understand the issues and solutions. The project took them 6 months of continuous interaction with the drivers to complete their design. At the end of the project, the students have made a life-size prototype of their design. Talking about the changes they have made, Upreti said, we have divided the controls in two sets - primary and secondary, according to their importance and frequency of usage. The brakes have been placed next to each other while the driver’s seat which used to block the passage is now collapsible under the main console. The young designers are planning to approach the railway officials to give a presentation of their design.
Courtesy: Times of India
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