Kolkata Metro to get GSM-R from Sunday

Kolkata (KOAA):  Sunday promises to be a red-letter day for the Metro Railway. Not only will services start from 10 am, the Metro will also get the much awaited Global System for Mobile Communications – Railways (GSM-R) that promises safer train-running. This technology will also come in handy for commuters later. They would get to use their mobile phones even when the trains are inside the tunnels. The technology holds immense promise. Should the Metro so desire, CCTV cameras can be installed inside coaches and live feed sent to the control room.

“The Metro started with VHF communication between the motormen and controllers. Gradually, due to lack of spares, the VHF sets had to be phased out. For the last 5-6 years, there was practically no communication between the motormen and controllers when the trains were inside tunnels. Now, we have installed a ‘leaky” feeder inside the tunnels. This will allow seamless communication. We propose to lease out any additional capacity that we may have. This can be used by cellular service providers to provide connectivity to their customers while on the move in the Metro network,” an official said.

The GSM-R technology is being provided by Nokia Siemens Network. Officials feel that this will improve the safety and reliability of the Metro while reducing operating costs. The technology is already in operation along 3,500 km of Indian Railways across four zones. The system will be inaugurated in the Metro on Sunday by minister of state for railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.