Indian Railways to get THIS modern technology; More trains, unmanned operations probably soon
Indian Railways is the preferred means of transportation in the country and manages the label of the fourth largest national railway system in the world by size. Railway authorities have been making changes to improve the travel experience. Having said that, the Railways now plans to introduce modern technology to train systems, paving the way for a better signaling system and enabling unmanned subway and train operations. India, known for its intricate railway network, will soon witness a transition from conventional railway signaling system to indigenous communications based train control (i-CBTC) system. Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has signed an agreement with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC) to jointly develop an i-CBTC.
It is a great leap forward in the field of metro and railway automation and will give a boost to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission of the Government of India. i-CBTC, first developed locally in India, will enable unmanned metro and train operations.
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The project is carried out under the purview of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India. The MoU aims to build on the complementary strengths and capabilities of BEL and DMRC.
i-CBTC is a modern communication-based system that uses radio communication to transfer accurate and timely train control information. Giving a great leap in the field of automation, the system will allow unmanned operations of subways and trains.
“It is an important step towards the development of a locally built signaling system in India and a big step towards achieving self-sufficiency in Metro signaling and train control systems. This will facilitate and encourage innovation, improve skill will reduce the cost of implementing Metros and lead to the evolution of expertise within the country in the field of train control signaling systems,” DMRC said in a statement.
According to press reports, conventional railway signaling is based on colored light signals and train detection with the help of track circuits and axle counters. Although this technology is suitable for train detection and control, it is not yet able to fully utilize the section’s capacity. What’s more, here comes the native correspondence based train control framework (I-CBTC).
The modern communications-based system uses telecommunications between the train and the track equipment for traffic management and infrastructure control. It helps to track the precise position of a train, which is better than traditional signaling systems. It results in a more efficient and safer way of managing rail traffic. Subways (and other rail systems) can improve progress while maintaining or even improving safety.
Due to the fusion of the latest technology, the i-CBTC is the choice of public transport rail operators around the world, with more than one hundred systems currently installed worldwide. In India too, the technology is finding applications in the Metro railways.
With the increase in population in major cities/towns, the need for a mass transit transportation and signaling system must evolve and adapt to safely meet this increase in traffic demand and capacity.
As a result, i-CBTC is being widely adopted for its moving block feature that enables high train frequency. As the latest technology in the field of Metro train signaling, the system promises efficient use of Metro infrastructure while also providing safe operations.
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