Kolkata, Nov 16: The South Eastern Railway (SER) will start installing a cutting-edge solid state interlocking system (SSI) at Kharagpur that will enable workers to set 800 different routes for trains in a matter of minutes. The system will be Asia’s largest and will start operating from Sunday.

Suchitto Kumar Das, SER‘s principal chief operating manager, told TOI that the RRI system was of the pre-1980 era and it had crossed its codal-life. The new system will cost Rs 39 crore.

Informing about the system, he said that the path of the train is set in a way that it crosses many tracks during its journey. He said the interlocking system will ensure that the trains do not collide during crossings. He added that tests had been conducted for the past 7-8 months.

Work to install the system had started on November 4 and will continue till Sunday. He said that the train services had been affected, but real disruptions would start from Friday, when the entire system will shift from RRI to the SSI.

“Platforms 7 and 8 at Kharagpur will also be made operational during this work. We will also link a third line from Howrah and a second line from Midnapore to the Kharagpur yard by Sunday. This will enhance capacity further,” Das told the paper.

Chief passenger transportation manager, SER, Soumitra Majumdar said that three signal cabins will not be of any use after the installation of the system. The railways would not need more station masters.