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  • Category: Exam Questions

    Why elevation is mentioned in every railway stations in India?

    Wondering why Indian railway stations mention have elevation? Check responses from experts on this page.

    In every railway stations in India, the elevation from the sea level is written on the station name hoardings inside the platform. What is the reason of mentioning such information inside the railway station? Why it was not written outside the station? What is the purpose of mentioning height from the sea level of a location/station? Experts: do clarify this.
  • #138789
    Normally, 'Mean sea level' (MSL) is displayed on the station sign at both ends of the platforms. The 'Mean sea level' (MSL) is a reference level from which vertical elevation of a place is measured. This allows heights of different places to be compared in a uniform manner.

    While laying a railway track and also while running a train on a laid down railway track, its slope or gradient is a very important factor. This factor is indicated by the difference of the MSL of two stations. The MSL is also used in telecommunication to determine the coverage area of a radio station.

    However, with the advent of GPS technology, the relevance of displaying MSL is gradually becoming out of context.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #138791

    Every one might have seen mentioning sea level is actually called "Mean sea level"(MSL). the mean sea level indicates the height of the location with reference to the sea level. Technically Engineers use this concept of MSL for various purposes especially in case of civil engineering, this concept of MSL is a benchmark tool for construction of any structures including buildings.

    In case of railway stations, Mentioning of Mean sea level is important because
    • With reference to the mean sea level the loco pilot knows how must extra torque to be provided for the loco to move from one location to another. For example, when a train is intended to go from a location whose MSL +250m to another location whose MSL is +280m, the locopilot can know how much extra effort must be put by the engine to reach the elevation difference of +30m this is the extra effort put by the engine in addition to normal tractive effort to overcome friction of rails. Similarly when a train moves from high MSL to lower MSL area, the less is the tractive effort put by the engine and higher is the regeneration capacity of the train travelling in inclined slope rails.
    • The concept of MSL is used by civil engineers in railway department for electrification of the line that means to construct poles and elevate them to carry current carrying conductors. So that trains can pass through them drawing the current. This MSL makes a vast difference in this context. For example, if it is planned to wire conductors from one location whose MSL is+250 to another location whose MSL is+280, the poles have to be suitability elevated between these locations so that for a loco engine these differences must not effect their running. Engines uses panto graph to collect power from lines, at both locations whose MSl is lower and higher, the panto graph must touch the lines. for this purpose, the poles have to be laid so that the electrical line is uniform.

    The answer for the question why MSL is indicated only on the platforms rather than outside the station is it makes most of the difference for loco pilots for their ease of work, calculating efficiency of engine, etc,. It does not make much sense for general public so is not indicated outside the station.

    Venkat Satish Mamidisetti,
    Power Plant Operations Engineer.

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