हेदराबाद Hyderabad (HYD): The Hyderabad Metro Rail project created a new technology record by successfully running a train in Automatic Train Operation (ATO) mode last night (Tuesday night) for the first time on Indian soil.
In this ATO mode train operates on its own and self controls its movement, speed, performance etc., with automatic application of brakes without intervention of the train driver. The function of the driver is only to press a button to close the doors at stations and it is a prelude to completely driverless mode which Hyderabad Metro can upgrade any time it wants.
The Hyderabad Metro is the first Indian Metro which is implementing Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) system, a very sophisticated and latest railway signalling system. The technology and equipment for Hyderabad Metro signalling system are supplied by French company Thales, which has first developed this technology in the world. It is a radio communication based system which controls movement of trains through continuous two-way digital communication between trains and trackside equipment.
The main Operation Control Centre (OCC) located in Uppal depot is the nerve centre for remote controlling and operation of the entire 72 km Hyderabad Metro Rail system. The total Metro Rail system is divided into six zones, each controlled by a Zone Controller (equipment). Each train transmits its identity, location, direction and speed to the respective Zone Controller which calculates safe distance between two trains, breaking distance and authorised train speed with automatic application of brakes in case of over speeding.
Several sophisticated sub-systems like Automatic Train Protection (ATP), Automatic Train Supervision (ATS), Vehicle on Board Controller, Zone Controller, Data Communication System, Solid State Interlocking (SSI), etc ensure absolutely fail-safe protection mechanism against train collisions, speed regulation, programmed stopping, door control and other functions. Automatic monitoring of train movement and performance remove any possibility of human error and prevent train collisions due to driver passing train beyond danger signal, which can happen in normal railway working.
The hi-tech CBTC system adopted by Hyderabad Metro facilitates running of trains with one and a half minute (90 sec) frequency with very high reliability. It has built in redundancies to take care of failure of any component. Most of the important Metros in the world have switched over to CBTC technology and after Hyderabad Metro, the next phase of Delhi Metro has also opted for this technology. Hyderabad Metro is using the latest version of CBTC technology. Simon Lee, a Hongkong based veteran in CBTC technology is closely supervising the Hyderabad Metro signalling system.
HMR MD NVS Reddy, HMR Chief Signalling & Telecommunications Engineer K.Laxman, Chief Engineer Md.Ziauddin and other senior engineers of L&TMRHL and Thales participated in the test run of Metro train in Automatic Train Operation mode from Nagole to Mettuguda.
Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao appreciated this major technology development and congratulated HMR, L&TMRHL and Thales on this achievement. He expressed confidence that Hyderabad would become a major global technology hub in future with such developments.