Passenger Information System (PIS) is an offline user interactive application which provides the most effective PIS solution in response to railways transportation, information and communication needs of the passenger and the railways transportation company. The system incorporates the passenger data management which enhances passenger service by providing necessary information about the passengers onboard and passengers that are booked for the next or subsequent departure.
The system would also provide train cancellation and departure information to the passengers. The system would be designed and developed using Visual Basic 6.0 and Microsoft Access. The new system will replace the inefficient and unreliable manual passenger information system which is entangled by lots of problems and used by the railways station currently.
Transportation is an essential part of human activity, and in many ways form the basis of all socio-economic interactions. Indeed, no two locations will interact effectively without a viable means of movement. Rail transport is usually the most suitable mode of transportation for heavy traffic flows when speed is also an advantage because of the lower cost per person per load as the train load increases.
Nigeria’s single-narrow-gauge railway line constructed in the colonial period was for many years the only mode of freight movement between the northern and southern parts of the country. Throughout the colonial era, rail transport was the most important mode of transport in terms of its infrastructural facilities, traffics, hauled and reliability as an all the year round transport system.
The colonial government in Nigeria made application for the construction of rail lines to the secretary of state for the colonial prior to 1892. As a result of the selfish colonial government interest, the colonial office in 1892 commissioned a survey to estimate the cost of railway construction in Nigeria. This was headed by William Shelfords. Although, Sir William Shelfords came up with favourable result, approval for construction did not come until 1985 when the secretary of state sanctioned the 32km, “1067 mm” gauge railway from Iddo to Otta. Consequently, by 1896 construction of the first railway line began from Iddo (Lagos).
It got to Otta and Abeokuta in 1898 and in 1901, it got to Ibadan. That year Lagos – Ibadan line was opened by 1909 the line got to Jebba and linked to Baro- Kano line (already completed in 1911) at Minna by 1915. The Eastern line connecting Port-Harcourt to Enugu was opened in 1916.
At the onset, the railway was known as the Nigerian government railway and run as a department of the Federal Government. However, in 1952, the Government announced its intention to establish the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) as an autonomous body to take over the duties and functions of the railway department. This did not come through until 1955 when the Nigerian Railway Act was passed. The Act set up the NRC, as a statutory Corporation entirely owned by the Federal Government. The act assigned the following function to NRC.
- To manage and operate the Railway and provide reasonable facilities for the carriage of passengers and goods
- To control railway Expenditure
- To ensure that as far as it is possible, annual revenue are sufficient to meet all expenditure properly chargeable to revenue.
- To direct and control expansion and extension of the railway system.
Shingle (2013) observed that the operation of very complex systems like railways require the availability of dependable and complete information in order to be able to maximize performances, optimize decisions and improve return-of-investment, that is in other words to keep and increase their competitiveness. Every railway subsystem produces large quantities of data, which needs to be handled in order to properly manage operation of trains and infrastructure.
Monitoring systems create data through sensors and elaboration, data are transferred where needed and eventually further elaborated to take decisions. Today, the problem is no longer to make data available, as they normally exist somewhere or can be easily produced: the problem is to have the right data in the right place at the right moment.
Salim (2009), railway management system should include and combine all kinds of specialized monitoring, data collection, and decision support systems. This should be the case for track, but also for all other railway infrastructure elements like bridges, switches and crossings, overhead lines, level crossings, tunnels, culverts, etc. Railway management system should also incorporate issues like environmental and hazard management and emergency response systems.
Once integrated, the railway management system should serve the needs of all the parties that are in any way connected to the railway system, such as the infrastructure owners, railway contracting or traffic operating companies, or any other. They all should make use of the system, to extract the data needed for their everyday or long-term strategic purposes, and also feed the data back to the system
Statement of problem
- Lack of proper information storage: The information generated is kept inside papers or flat file systems without databases.
ii. Data Losses: Loss of data perhaps would happen if all information is kept only inside papers.
iii. Lack of prompt updating: – Various changes to information like changing a record or cancelling it difficult to reflect in paper work.
- Unproductive Use of Storage Space -: Paper takes up a massive amount of room in the office. If a computer system was bought, the paper could all go and there would be lots more free space which could be used for other purposes.
v. Slow Retrieval of Data -: The information of a student is stored in different parts of the offices and takes a long time to retrieve the data.
- Data Duplication-: the same data gets repeated over and over since the coordinator finds it hard to keep track of the documents and information.
vii. Lack of security-: since data is stored in filing cabinets it is freely available to anyone. If information falls into the wrong hands it can be used against the coordinator and students can blackmail him.
viii. Repetition of work-: if there are any changes to be made, the data will have to be entered again. At times they would forget to make the changes or forget that they had already altered it and might redo it again, its again time consuming.
Purpose of the study
This research has dual purposes; it is intended to automate the manual ways of managing the Nigeria Railways Cooperation passenger data management at the Kaduna railways terminal. It also involves the notification of passengers train schedules and service prices to the interested passengers concern.
The methodology applied for gathering data and information used for the conduct of this research were combination of primary and secondary sources, such as the internet, articles, seminar papers, textbooks, academic journals and interview from resource persons. The automated railways passenger information system will be design and developed using Visual Basic 6.0 because of its flexibility, database capability, Graphical User Interactive features and powerful application development tools, moreover, Visual Basic is an object oriented programming language
System modeling is the interdisciplinary study of the behavior of system by the use of diagram usually from the user point of view. The diagrams are used to conceptualize and construct the proposed system by specifying various aspects of the system. They are used to communicate between the developer and the user in order to confirm that the system conforms to user specification.